REVIEW: News Just In – The Arches, Glasgow

This review was originally written for and published by The Public Reviews at:

Writer: Johnny McKnight

Director: Johnny McKnight

In News Just In the rag-bag team at Tartan Tonight take over the Arches for an anarchic commentary on the day’s Commonwealth Games events. There’s: deluded diva news anchor Delta (Julie Brown); alarmingly tanned co-anchor, sex pest and sectarian Fergus (Jordan Young); gay weatherman in pink shorts-suit and glittery gold trainers Ross (Johnny McKnight); former Commonwealth ping-pong player Margo (Rosalind Sydney); put-upon intern Sam (Gavin Jon Wright) and programme boss Jan (Julie Wilson Nimmo).

With an ever-changing script, a different lead writer every night (this one was finished just half an hour before the show), and an energy level required that would rival most of the competitors in the Games themselves, this is an ambitious undertaking.Tonight’s script has been culled from the reactions to the much anticipated opening ceremony “not as sh** as we thought it would be” and Scotland’s gold medal winning first day, but the lion’s share of the material is the petty rivalry, personal quirks and questionable antics of the team.

The humour is at times too heavy on crudity and scatology, where it really hits the mark and where it gets the biggest laughs of the night is when it plays upon every Glasgow caricature and in-joke to great effect, there’s also an hysterical voice over from Sally Reid  and some well-judged video material which provide much of the evening’s laughs. The Commonwealth material itself is spot-on, less effective are the TV show team’s antics which frame the show, surprising, as this is the material that one would presume has had the most time spent on it.

There’s no doubting the talent and commitment of the cast and the energy levels are to be applauded, however it’s not quite hit the mark yet, hopefully as the team settles into its stride and as the days progress there will be more fertile fodder.

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