Stand-by for the latest YouTube sensation, starring a local actress who has co-written Bronzed, a comedy-drama set in a Croydon sunbed shop.
Katherine Hurley was inspired to make Bronzed after working in South Croydon pub The Folly back in 2005.
“We used to call it Follyoaks! There were so many weird and wonderful characters, it was a writer’s dream!” Hurley told Inside Croydon.
“Opposite the pub was a tanning shop called Bronzed. I thought it was a great name and it all spiralled from there really.”
The series, which is available on YouTube now, was filmed mainly at The Tube tanning parlour on Brighton Road.
The show’s six webisodes have been likened to SouthEnders, as the earthy plots switch between soap, laugh-out-loud comedy and gangster-fuelled action.
Hurley teamed up with co-creator and director Matthew Jay France at The London School of Dramatic Art in 2007. Which means the show has been more than 10 years in the making, with the pair eventually getting the ball rolling in January of last year. “We always thought it would be fun to do but life just got in the way,” Hurley said.
“Once we finally sat down and wrote the first script we couldn’t wait to make it!”
After originally writing a 30-minute pilot, Hurley and France decided to release it in smaller chunks online.
“Our ultimate plan is for a six-part TV series, but as we are currently self-producing too, we thought it would be a good idea to try to build a following first and see what the response is like.
“We’ve already written the script for the next six parts and hope to film them over the summer.”
Hurley went to Warlingham High School. Like most aspiring actors, she has juggled her creative endeavours with various other jobs including SEN support worker, drama teacher and working in hospitality. Both she and France are now hoping the show’s concept sparks interest from a production company who can help them develop it further.
“We made Bronzed with no money in just two days. From the feedback we’ve had so far we believe it has huge potential and would love the opportunity to expand on our ideas.”
The pair intend to submit the original script to this year’s BBC Comedy Room commissioning process, and are also pursuing other leads. “One viewer described the show as, ‘Hilarious and touching in equal measure’. We’ll take that.”
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