Dutch Elm Conservatoire
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The Dutch Elm Conservatoire is a British sketch comedy group, made up of five writers and actors: Stephen Evans, Jim Field Smith, Rufus Jones, Dan Renton Skinner and Jordan Long. They performed on the comedy circuit in London, Edinburgh and on tour. In 2005 they were nominated for the prestigious Perrier Award at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The troupe first met together as a five towards the end 2002, with their stage debut in February 2003.
Subsequent to this, the BBC commissioned them to record a BBC Radio 4 pilot. The resulting script, CONSPIRACY, was then developed for the stage. They took this new live show back to the Edinburgh Fringe in August 2005, again at the Pleasance Courtyard playing to sell-out audiences and picking up a Perrier Award nomination and a rare 5-star review from the Scotsman, amongst others. The show was directed by Ed Curtis. On returning to London they performed the show to a sell-out West End audience, and early in 2006 they embarked on their first UK Tour which finished in March 2006. As a group, the Dutch Elm Conservatoire have appeared on various TV and radio programmes, including Loose Ends, The Milk Run and 28 Acts in 28 Minutes (all for the BBC). However, the four of them are busy actors and writers in their own right, with an extensive range of credits for screen, stage and radio. Between them, they have infiltrated almost every new comedy series of recent years on British television, including Hyperdrive (BBC), Nighty Night (BBC), Snuff Box (BBC), Mike Bassett: Manager (ITV), Secret Smile (ITV), The Office (BBC), My Life in Film(BBC), The Robinsons (BBC), According to Bex (BBC), The Only Boy for Me (ITV), Peep Show (Channel 4), My Family (BBC), Coupling (BBC), Extras (BBC), Love Soup (BBC), Fear of Fanny (BBC), 15 Storeys High (BBC) and Bedsitcom (Channel 4), not to mention films and radio. They also crop up frequently in voice-overs, commercials and corporate work in Britain and abroad, and have writing credits across all the major terrestrial and digital channels.
During 2007/08 The Dutch Elm Conservatoire could be seen performing on the BBC Three comedy show entitled Comedy Shuffle and heard on BBC Radio 4's series of 28 Acts in 28 Minutes. They also made several appearances in the second series of Comedy Cuts for ITV2 during 2008.