Sky has revealed details of its next batch of comedy shorts, including films from Jason Byrne, Katherine Ryan, Seann Walsh and Al Porter.
Each instalment will have an Irish theme, with sketch group Diet of Worms and stand-up Alison Spittle also contributing.
The six ‘Comedy Bites’ will premiere on June 4 at the Cat Laughs Festival in Kilkenny, before going online and on Sky Arts later in the month.
Jason Byrne stars in The Rug alongside Moone Boy’s Amy Huberman as a married couple who steal a rug from a store on the spur of the moment, turning their lives into hell. Co-starring Sean Flanagan, The Rug is directed by Richard Pengelley for Sharon Horgan’s production company Merman.
Byrne said ‘I’m like a kid with a new toy, so excited to be working with Merman, ecstatic about working with Sharon Horgan and icing on the cake, Amy Huberman playing the wife. Thank you The Man in the Sky, or sorry… the people at Sky.’
The rest of the films are simply titled ‘…in Ireland’.
In Ryan’s episode – directed by Katy Brand, the half-Irish Canadian travels to Ireland to attend her nephew’s Christening, where being a single mother and an atheist, prompts her Irish relatives to pray for her. The short, also from Merman, co-stars Katherine’s sister Kerrie Ryan, Michael Fenton Stevens, Marcia Warren, Tom Knight and Isabella Aleppo.
In Walsh’s film, the comic plays Robin, a burnt-out actor, taking a trip to the seaside resort of Bray to detox. He soon bumps into his Irish cousin Fred, who steers him off course. The film co-stars Irish comics Fred Cooke and Karl Spain and is directed by Dave Lambert for Baby Cow.
Al Porter in Ireland finds the camp comic as the Karaoke King, living at home with his Nana. But now he’s got an agent, are his fortunes about to change? It co-stars Father Ted’s Pauline McLynn as well as Garry Mountaine, and is directed by Joe Fraser for Baby Cow.
Sketch quintet Diet of Worms, who starred in BBC Four’s The Walshes, play the Kavanaghs in their film. Once the country’s most famous quintuplets, after a series of rows Rory Connolly, Phillipa Dunne, Niall Gaffney, Shane Langan and Amy Stephenson drifted into obscurity,but have been persuaded to reunite for a breakfast TV show. Crashing’s George Kane directs for Big Talk.
Finally, Alison Spittle In Ireland offers a glimpse into a modern Irish hen night, set in the ladies’ loo of a nightclub. Co-starring Andrea Farrell and Clare Monnelly, it’s directed by Joe Fraser for Baby Cow.
Jon Mountague, Head of Sky Comedy, added: ‘Sky Comedy is thrilled to continue our comic shorts seasons. We’ve had terrific feedback from customers and Sky On Demand is a brilliant platform on which to share some of the most exciting comic brains in Britain and Ireland.’
Sky previously screened 12 short films at Christmas from rising comics including Nish Kumar, Limmy, Sam Simmons and Spencer Jones.