Rose Johnson is a comedy writer-performer and one-third of sketch group Birthday Girls.
She has recently completed filming on two improv-based sitcoms; playing council estate princess Dee in Lee and Dean, a character comedy coming to Channel 4 in 2018, and overzealous Police Officer George in Scarecrows, an experimental pilot also for Channel 4. Rose trained in improv with the UK outpost of internationally acclaimed comedy institution, The Second City.
Other recent screen appearances include leading the ensemble cast as Guv in the most recent set of BBC Learning Shorts, made by (Oscar-winning!) Grain Media, and starring alongside her fellow Birthday Girls in their popular Game of Thrones parody for Comic Relief Red Nose Day. She has also starred in Whip In Toilet, a short film directed by BAFTA-nominated director Ben Mallaby, and appears in short film Smear, directed by Kate Herron (Screen International Star of Tomorrow), which screens at FrightFest this autumn. ..read more
With Kate, Rose also co-wrote and starred in the short film Valentine, which screened at LOCO London Comedy Film Festival (‘Beautifully observed’ – View London), Palm Springs’ ShortsFest, and Denmark’s BornShorts Film Festival, where it was nominated for Best Fiction Short.
Some of her favourite past onscreen roles include appearing alongside Russell Howard in his BBC2 Christmas Special Gert Lush, being directed by Bob Weide (Curb Your Enthusiasm) alongside Nick Frost and Olivia Colman in Sky’s Mr Sloane, and appearing alongside Joanna Lumley as Patsy’s intern in the Absolutely Fabulous Christmas special for BBC1.
Rose writes regularly on satirical comedy shows. She has been part of the core writers’ room for the past three series of BBC Radio 4 Extra’s topical comedy show Newsjack, and has also written on satirical quiz show The News Quiz and sketch show The Show What You Wrote, both for BBC Radio 4. She has also written on a topical sketch project for Tiger Aspect.
Rose also writes comedy regularly for children’s television. Current projects include Scrambled! for CITV (her second series writing on the show), Bitz and Bob, a new animated show encouraging girls’ interest in STEM, and Yoyo, a brand new science-based sketch show she is helping develop for Cbeebies. She has written on many other popular CBeebies shows including Justin’s House, Swashbuckle, and Spotbots.
Rose has appeared on stage as Louise in Private Lives at Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre opposite Imogen Stubbs and Joanna Page, and she performed in the recent gala performance of Outings at the Lyric Theatre. She performs regularly on the stand-up comedy circuit and runs a popular monthly residency in Peckham, Rye Laughs, which she MCs.
Alongside her fellow Birthday Girls (Beattie Edmondson and Camille Ucan), Rose has enjoyed success at the past two Edinburgh Fringes. The sketch group’s most recent hit show Sh!t Hot Party Legends enjoyed rave reviews and a transfer to London’s Soho Theatre, as did their previous show, the five-star, total sell-out Party Vibes. The Skinny described it as ‘A different class… This is joy’, and The Londonist commented that ‘Rose has unique intonation that echoes in the memory long after the show is over,’ which she hopes is a compliment.
Birthday Girls are currently working with producers Turtle Canyon on a mini web series and developing other scripts for TV and online. They have written and performed sketches for ITV2 comedy entertainment series @elevenish, and appeared twice on BBC Radio 4’s Sketchorama.
Rose began her career alongside the rest of Birthday Girls as part of the critically acclaimed sketch group Lady Garden (‘Britain’s funniest women’ – Telegraph). They were Edinburgh Festival favourites and Hackney Empire New Act of the Year award finalists. They wrote and performed sketches for the first series of BBC3’s Live at the Electric, BBC Radio 4’s Sketchorama, BBC2’s Dick and Dom’s Funny Business, and they appeared in the Comic Relief spoof Uptown Downstairs Abbey for BBC1.