Tag Archives: Karen Barclay

NEWS: GLASGOW WRITERS JOIN FORCES FOR COMEDY FESTIVAL

Four Glasgow playwrights have teamed up to present a quartet of plays as part of the Glasgow International Comedy Festival next month. Short Attention Span Theatre is a method of theatre which delivers exactly what it says on the tin: short dramas for those with short attention spans as well as those who like to experience a variety of works in one evening. 

Karen Barclay, Tom Brogan, Catriona Duggan, and Chris McQueer will each debut a brand new play to audiences in CCA on Tuesday 26 and Wednesday 27 March.

Barclay’s Mortified aims to get to the root of whether or not a person can actually die from embarrassment, while McQueer’s Last Can tells the tale of a couple living in post-apocalyptic Glasgow when Lou discovers John has stashed the world’s last can of Irn-Bru for himself.

Karen Barclay

Duggan’s When The Penny Drops centres around a school teacher who has found the perfect way to deal with the stresses of the job, and Brogan’s Delivery sees a failed comedian confronted by a pupil in his stand-up comedy class.

Tom Brogan

Five local actors will take on multiple roles in the four plays, continuing the Short Attention Span Theatre trope of performing with a small and tight-knit cast. Regulars Mairi Davidson, Johanna Harper, Kat Harrison, and Grant McDonald will be joined by John Love to keep audiences entertained during the two-night run.

Chris McQueer

Writer Chris McQueer, author of the acclaimed Hings, Leathered, and HWFG, said: “I’ve only just got my head around describing myself as an author, so to try my hand at drama and put on a playwright hat for the first time has been a bit of a challenge – but it’s been great fun. I can’t wait for the performances as part of the Glasgow International Comedy Festival, and for audiences to see these four brilliant plays for the first time.”

Catriona Duggan

Catriona Duggan, who drew on her own experience as a school teacher to bring her play to life, said: “I’ve written for Short Attention Span Theatre a few times before and it’s always been a really wonderful and rewarding experience, but knowing you’re writing something which is going to be performed as part of the Comedy Festival is just a whole new level of excitement! I was really chuffed to be asked to be part of the writing crew for this event and I’m sure the cast will deliver fantastic shows for our audiences.”

For more information, and to buy tickets, visit glasgowcomedyfestival.seetickets.com

REVIEW: Star Stricken Double Bill – CCA, Glasgow

Presented as part of the Glasgow International Comedy Festival, Star Stricken a double bill of new comedy writing by Karen Barclay and Tom Brogan is certainly a bill of contrasts.

First up, Emily Entwistle by Karen Barclay pitches us headlong into the world of big business: a crisis has happened in an unnamed factory and corporate business solutions expert Elfrida (Frankie McEachen) is sent to sort the damage, with of course, less than successful results.

Heavy on the corporate speak (which considering the audience reaction was not a world we are as familiar with as the writer) and light on storyline and laughs, Barclay’s piece lacked cohesion and smacked a little of self-indulgence from the choice of heroines the play takes its name from to the I’m clever than you attitude which the writer seemed keen to demonstrate throughout. What did shine through was the talent of the actors, in particular Johanna Harper as Margo who deftly handled the machine-gun delivery of the complex dialogue, managing to raise what laughs there were to be had.

In contrast Tom Brogan‘s Good Times Never Seemed So Good is a sparkling little gem of a relationship tale set against the backdrop of the tribute act circuit.

Long-time loser with a big heart Mark (Paul Kozinski) has tried his hand at every daft scheme he can think of to make a living and girlfriend Laura is getting heartily sick of it: so she issues an ultimatum to pick something and stick with it, that something turns out to be a Neil Diamond tribute act. Despite no resemblance to the man in question and certainly filling the costumes slightly differently to Mr.Diamond, Mark soldiers on, climbing the ladder of success one slippery rung at a time. Just when he thinks it’s going to happen the ever-elusive big break remains out of reach. But what price fame? Is it worth losing the love of his life for?

Choc-full of laughs from start to finish this is a heart-warming little charmer. The references spot on the mark, completely relatable and met with roars of approval from the packed audience.

Ripe for TV adaptation hopefully it will have a life beyond the Comedy Festival and Brogan is certainly a name to watch for in the comedy writing world. A wee Scottish comedy gem.