The Male Pill.

So we’ve got Trump, Clinton, Brexit and the failing pound but the big news is…Scientists announce they’ve finally developed the male pill. And it’s not really before time is it? I mean for women you’ve got pills, coils, implants, patches, caps, and being locked for a week in the menstruating hut. What do we have for men? Err…Rubber Johnny. 100 years of contraception and that’s it! Or get your balls cut off.

Thing is just by a show of hands…How many women here would trust a man who said he was on the pill? (TUMBLEWEED SOUND) Exactly!

I reckon before they bring the male pill out it should have something in it that helps prove a bloke is actually taking it. Perhaps it could make your willy glow in the dark, or it makes your balls make a noise like wind chimes.

I was looking at how the male pill actually works and apparently it lowers sperm count by targeting a bit of the man’s brain. REALLY? You’re telling me there’s some kind of correlation between the brain and the penis. No way! My willy can’t tell the difference between a woman and a bus.

Genuinely there’s a term for why men get unprovoked stiffies on public transport. It’s called Diesel Penis. It’s because of the vibrations from the diesel engine. I mean this could explain why bus drivers always look so unhappy. “Look son just pay the fare and get on the bus. I’ve been sitting with this thing for six hours now. I just want to get home and throttle the life out the bastard. Anyway when are you getting off?”

“When am I getting off? Well that really depends on your driving. If you just give the engine a good fierce revving when we get to the lights I’ll see what I can do.”


The Holy Trinity Explained.


I was raised in a church background. It’s alright I was a prod so it was mainly getting pissed at communion and sacrificing the odd goat. Saying that I am from a massive protestant family…there’s just me.

Anyhoo I remember the minister saying to us once, one of the things folk find most confusing in Christianity is the Holy Trinity. You know, the idea that the Father (God), the Son and the Holy Ghost they’re all the same thing.

Mind you that’s maybe not so confusing nowadays. Just look at Westminster. You’ve got the Tories, Lib-Dems and a sizable chunk of New Labour and they’re pretty much all the same thing.

Thing is if you look at the Trinity it’s pretty much Jesus that got the shitty end of the stick. The Holy Ghost only had to put in a two day cameo appearance then buggered off for a lifetime on Americas Most Haunted and the odd Panto doing the past, present and future in Scrooge.

And as for God…well he’s God he can do anything he wants. Although according to some he seems to spend most of his time hovering about and watching us masturbate. Or knocking out the odd natural disaster just to see how easily we go squish.

But Jesus…he got sent on a suicide mission. I would have loved to have been at the meeting where that got decided.

“OK this is the new millennium annual general meeting. Since I’m God I’ll take the minutes. First up is a proposal from myself and the Holy Ghost. Son, Jesus, me…whatever. We’ve come up with an idea that we’d like to send you on a mission.”

And if you were Jesus you might go, “Ah cool a mission. I’m well up for that. Now people can meet me face to face. I was getting tired of everybody thinking I’m a white bloke.”

And then God might go, “Ah good I’m glad you’re up for it. So as well as being the living representation of me, him and err… us on earth I’m also going to give you some super powers.”

And at that point Jesus was probably quite happy, “Wow super powers. Awesome! Can I get claws like Wolverine?”

But then God threw a damper on things. “Ah well its more “earthy” powers than that. You know you’ll heal the sick, raise the dead and turn water into wine. Mind you the last one will make you popular for a bit. You’ll be like a Harry Potter for the needy. There’s just one wee thing…You have to die at the end. When you’re quite young actually”

And Jesus might have gone, “Fuck that. What’s the point in that?”

And God might have said, “Well you know. It sets a nice example.”

To which he might reply, “A nice fucking example? How do I die like?”

And God owned up, “We’re going to have you nailed to a lump of wood. By some Romans”

To which he probably replied, “Fuck that! Send the Holy Ghost. He won’t feel a thing.”

To which God made the excuse, “He’s busy…he’s in Panto.”

At which point Jesus saw a flaw in Gods game plan. And did protest, “Hang on a minute if I’ve got superpowers how come I can’t use them to stop the Romans? I mean fuck water into wine, how about nails into water? That could be a great laugh. We could have them there all day…Yeah just hammer away…Oh look it’s turned into water again. That would be a crowd pleaser. It would probably be a bit more productive than dying.”

And then God may declare, “Look we’ve had a word with marketing and we feel this is the best way forward for everybody. Anyway you’re not going to be that popular. I’m bored of Judaism. I want you to start a new religion.”

And Jesus may question, “Worshiping who.”

And God put the final nail in with, “You.”

And Jesus did realise, “Well it’s no wonder they want to kill me. You’ve set me up to look like a total wanker.”

And ye verily the poor lads fate/faith was sealed.




Britain celebrates Brexit with new pound coin.


So the pound has sunk even lower this week and all UKIP can offer to fix the problem is to punch each other in the head. God help us if they are ever in charge of anything. Saying that UKIP MEP Steven Woolfe shows no signs of a blood clot on the brain. But then how do you clot something that isn’t there.

I was given the UKIP version of Cludo as a gift this year. That’s the one where it doesn’t matter who did it you just always blame the immigrant.

Theresa May has announced new trade deals with the Chinese. Yes I remember they came to visit earlier this year and David Cameron presented them with quite an unusual welcome gift. The entire British steel industry.

As those opposed to Jeremy Corbyn Tweet #GoodbyeLabour perhaps at the same time we should all be texting #GoodbyeScotland.

In other news UKIP have announced they’d like to deport anybody who refuses to speak English. That might prove tricky for the Welsh.

A stab at a 20 minute Play called Raw.

As a recent project we went to see a play and where asked to write a 20 minute “response play” to what we saw. I’ve never written a play in my life…and probably haven’t yet. I decided to go for something that is about my very first fumbling with University and drama, woven with a tale of near scandal, and mucking about with regular theatre conventions.  This goes for about 15 pages so no bother if you want to skip it. x     

PS  SORRY ABOUT THE WONKY FORMATING…but it won’t come over right from Word. But it’s not too bad still easy to follow.  

PPS The play features heavy use of Metafiction which comes from my love of Kurt Vonnegut and breakfast of Champions.  See next blog.



Scene 1.

Two actresses enter. There is a blue lighting filter the same as used in the production Bacon Knees and sausage Fingers. The lighting will change to denote time and context. Blue is the past amber the present. One actress is standing the other seated. Morecambe and Wise Bring Me Sunshine plays.

Father.          Just look at what you’ve done. Look at the state your mother’s in. What have you

Got to say about that?


Son.           But I didn’t do this. This isn’t the full truth.

Father.        So who’s responsible then? Who did this? Who reduced your mother to tears?

Son.            It’s Mr Davidson. He did this. He’s got…he’s got…it’s hard to explain.

There is a lighting change to amber to denote present time.

Seated.      Hmmmnnn. That was a bit raw. What my dad did that day changed everything.

Standing.   Well that’s kind of appropriate is it not? That’s what you are… raw. You’re a first year

Drama and Script fresher you’re one week in and you’re having a go at writing

some theatre.  And now here you are being played by two women. How does

that feel? This is a whole new world Mr.


Seated.     It feels fine. Kind of like a dressing up game that you do in separate rooms from

each other. Actually when the casting for this was originally going to be a man

and a woman I was going to have the woman play the more…err…informed half

of me.


Standing.   Why?


Seated.       Because of my mum.


Standing.   So your mum’s more informed than your dad?


Seated.       My mums’ side is what informs me.


Standing.   OK, so now that the gender of one performer has changed who do we



Seated.     Err…Well I’m the writer side and you’re the performer.


Standing.   Oh that’s nice. I get the fun job. And what is it exactly we’re doing here?


Seated.       Well I’m writing a response play to the production Bacon Knees and Sausage



Standing.   Ah yes the play that we watched last week. And what did you make of that?


Seated.       I thought it was great.


Standing.   Are you sure you’re not just saying that in the hope that your piece wins and

gets picked for performance?


Seated.       No! But if that was my intention then it looks like it’s worked. But no, certain

aspects of the play really resonated with me.


Standing.   Ooh…”It really resonated with me” Mr Theatre knickers is in da hoose. Don’t get

too close ladies he’s resonating!


Seated.     Fuck off I know some stuff.


Standing. You know bugger all about Theatre.


Seated.     I do so, I know some things. I know Pinteresque.


Standing. Really! Alright then show us all Pinteresque. Try not to resonate too much we’ve

just decorated.  


SEATED then stands up has a look around and spots a plastic bucket that is quite obviously away from the stage area of the play. They go retrieve the bucket, sit back down and put it over their head then shout from beneath


Seated.     (Colloquial) “SPOONS! I’ll give you fucking spoons. You’ll have spoons coming out

of the other side of your face!”


Standing.   How on earth is that Pinteresque? (PAUSE) Hello, are you still in there? I’m

asking what on earth is Pinteresque about a bucket on your head and shouting

about spoons (PAUSE) HEEELLOOO! Earth calling writer…what are…


Seated.     The long pauses! That’s Pinteresque! Ha told you. (REMOVES BUCKET)

                    That and the comedy of menace.


Standing. That was the comedy of menace?


Seated.      Well it would be if you bumped into me down the Bigg Market doing that.

Actually I saw a bloke doing exactly that in the Bigg Market and it was bloody

terrifying. Look I think we should maybe get back to the response play.  


Standing. I think we’re all pretty desperate to. So you say it resonated. Why?


Seated.     Well the play examined issues of neglect and abuse in childhood and how they

can impact heavily in later life. That struck a chord.


Standing. So you were abused and neglected as a child?

Seated.    Ah that’s a bit too strong a description. But there were definitely events that

impacted…Big style. But I’m not sure I’m quite ready to talk about that just yet. As

I said it’s a bit raw.


Standing. Right raw. We get it. The name of the play and the word used to indicate both

your lack of knowledge in the field and an emotional state. For heavens sake it’s

the third time you’ve used it only three pages of dialogue. Watch you’re not

using a sledgehammer to crack a walnut here.


Seated.    Well I said I was new. Look maybe before we get to the…err…the guts of things

maybe we could look at some things I’ve written.


Standing. Must we?


Seated.     Well it will give you something to perform.


Standing. OK now I’m interested.


Seated.     I’ve written a poem.


Standing. Oh for fuck sake, “These are my words. See me bleed.”


Seated.     Look I’m not saying I’m WB Yeats or anything here. I’ve not written many poems.

It’s not something I plan to make a career of…


Standing. At the moment your future in theatre isn’t looking too rosy either.


Seated.      Can you stop being so antagonistic please?


Standing. Nope, it’s my job. Protagonist antagonist. Key elements of a story. You learnt that

in your first week. Anyway don’t get all shirt and tie with me, you bloody wrote

this. OK come on tell us about your poem.


Seated.     Well… you know how workers’ rights are being stripped away, what with zero

hours contracts, push down economics and the slow erosion of trade union

support. Well, it’s just I’ve heard from a few locals about an employer in

Newcastle who are actually quite good with their staff.


Standing. Right so this is definitely not about Sports Direct. OK It sounds like it could have


some substance. What’s it called?


Seated.     The Ladies Of Greggs.


Standing. (LAUGHS) Oh my word. Or perhaps I should say oh my Wordsworth.


Seated.      Look could you just perform the bloody thing.


Standing. (LAUGHS) Ok let me compose myself…right…here we go.

The Ladies of Greggs…

The ladies of Greggs work hard on their legs

To bring us those pasties that keep us all fed

The ladies of Greggs rise early from bed

They’re the best of all mothers I’ve oft heard it said

With a smile and a cheery, “There ye gan pet”

To say they seem happy’s a fairly safe bet

But why do they bother to bring us good service

Most workers these days of their jobs they are nervous

Because Greggs are an employer of decent repute

That’s why they don’t end up in industrial dispute

For the cakes that they bake pay a good hourly rate

So to be happy at work is these ladies fate

So let us say thanks to the people of Greggs

Because they deliver us from evil

With our daily bread.


Well you’re right, you’re most definitely not WB Yeats. But that line at the end

has a nice sentiment behind it. I’ll give you that.


Seated.    Thanks.


Standing. You’re welcome.


Change of lighting back to blue to signify the past.


Father.       Just look at what you’ve done. Look at the state your mother’s in. What have

you got to say about that?


Son.            But I didn’t do this. This isn’t the full truth.


Father.       So who’s responsible then? Who did this? Who reduced your mother to tears?


Son.            It’s Mr Davidson. He did this. He’s got…he’s got…it’s hard to explain.


Father.       Come on then let’s hear it.



Son.           He’s got…he’s got…(SIGHS) He’s got it in for me.


Father.       Of course he’s got it in for you. You’ve been skiving bloody school.


Son.           But I haven’t.


Father.       So where were you today? Why did he phone your mother to say you were



Son.           It’s the last day before the Easter holidays. Loads of folk take it off. I haven’t

before but Martins mum said it would be alright. I only took the morning off

and went in in the afternoon. But Mr Davidsons lying, I don’t skive school.


Father.       You don’t skive school? So what were you doing today? You’re a liar. That’s all

We ever get from you, lie after lie. And I tell you this that’s the last you’ll be

seeing of Martin. The trouble with you is you think you’re better than the rest of



Change of lighting back to the present.


Standing.   Why did you just repeat that scene?


Seated.       It’s a technique they used in Bacon Knees. At some point these two strands of

time will meet and we’ll have a revelation. Well…at least I hope we do. I’m not

that far into the script yet and I’m not entirely sure I have the skills yet to pull

that off.


Standing.     Ha! Well that’s one of creating dramatic tension. Now everyone’s going, “OK

so we might get a dramatic climax…or it could be another one of his bloody

poems.” So why did Mr Davidson have it in for you.


Seated.         That isn’t actually what I wanted to say. I didn’t want to say he’s got it in for

  1. What I wanted to say was…he’s got…secrets.


Standing.     Ooh now we’re listening. Did he try it on with you?


Seated.         No not really. I mean we were both a bit flirtatious with each other.


Standing.     Holy fuck if this is your coming out piece I highly recommend you don’t invite

your wife of 16 years to the premier.


Seated.       No I wasn’t gay, he was…Look it was the 1980s. Everyone was mucking about

with gender. It was a sure fire way to get a number one single in the charts.

I was very effeminate as a boy, and I was a Goth so I used to wear some make

  1.               You combine that with all the drama and art I was doing and everyone used

to genuinely think I was gay. It got me in a lot of fights. I used to play up to it,

you know, to wind up the homophobes. They’d say, “Oi! Are you a poof?”

And I’d say, “Look I’ve told you it’s the 1980s…I’m not gay…I’m a Dandy




Standing.   I can see why they wanted to kick your head in. You know psychologists now

reckon being alternative or a Goth can actually be a form of self-harm.


Seated.       Yeah I’ve read that. Utter bollocks. All it meant to me was I wanted to shag

slightly overweight lassies in fishnets. How can you have some kind of a

condition when you’re in a band called The Cure?


Standing.     Fair point. So tell us, what was Mr Davidsons secret.


Seated.         OK…Look could I possibly break the fourth wall for a second?


Standing.     Now hang on Pinter never did anything like that. That’s a separate discipline

you’re talking about there. This is theatre, that’s not a common technique.


Seated.         Actually they did it all the time in ancient Greek theatre. Well maybe it will

become known as one of my techniques.


Standing.     Jeezo, you do actually think there’s a future in this. I’ll tell you what I’ll do it for

you, (TO AUDIENCE) “I’d just like to say ladies and gentlemen I am a local

actress with a good CV, but you know how sometimes you commit to

something before you see it…Bloody students.” OK that’s me done on you go.


Seated.         (TO AUDIENCE. STANDING) I’d just like to say ladies and gentlemen that

everything I tell you about my dad and Mr Davidson is one hundred percent

true. I didn’t create this story for dramatic effect. I say that because there will

be a revelation at some point that really is quite horrible and possibly

unbelievable. I can however provide evidence to back it up. The only thing I’ve

changed is Mr Davidsons name. That’s not his real name.

                       (SITS BACK DOWN)

                     So one day me and a lad Keith Weston stayed behind after school. This was

secondary school I think it’s important to say. Keith had keys to the drama and

music department as he was a prefect and Drama student. Anyway we were

just dicking about going under the Assembly hall stage and that when I decided

to have a look inside the school piano. Well…When I lifted the lid inside I found

four Polaroid snaps of a mans cock and balls…or perhaps a prefects cock and

balls. Mr Davidson was head of the music department and the school pianist so

you can draw your own conclusions.


Standing.   And at the age of fourteen did you find this a bit unsettling?


Seated.       Fuck no. We were ecstatic, in absolute hysterics. We set about trying to solve

the case like a gay porn Holmes and Watson. Never before this moment had

two pubescent hetro teenagers put so much study into another mans block and

tackle, trying desperately to figure out who they might belong to.


Standing.    And did you figure it out?


Seated.       Well we knew they definitely didn’t belong to Mr Davidson. He had dark hair

and these bits were very ginger.


Standing.   Ah…but this was in Scotland wasn’t it? So that wouldn’t really narrow things



Seated.     Exactly. We’re a land awash with the gingers.


Standing. So what did you do then? Go on some kind of Cinderella style quest getting

ginger blokes to expose themselves to you? “Whomever these ginger bollocks

doth match shall marry the Prince.”


Seated.     I wish we had. Then I might have not ended up in such pathway of life altering

trouble. No that night we had Drama Club with Mr Stewart. You know how cool

teachers can be as much like your pal as anything? Well that night we found out

Mr Stewart maybe wasn’t as much of a pal as we thought.


Standing. What…Don’t tell me you went skipping up to another teacher with four gay porn

Polaroids that you found in a vessel that defines his colleagues’ very existence

and livelihood?


Seated.     Err…Yeah that’s pretty much exactly what we did.


Standing. Wow did you know there’s no such word as naïve in the English language.


Seated.     Really?


Standing. Never mind. So how did Mr Stewart react?


Seated.      Well first he went very white and then he went very quiet.


Standing. Pinteresque comedy of menace quiet?


Seated.     No just quite. It was also around this moment that we realised Mr Stewarts hair

kind of was a lot redder than the blonde we’d always assumed it was.


Standing. Fuck off! You’d found your prince?


Seated.     Quite possibly. I suppose in a way this was lucky. This was the 80s we could have

caused a total scandal. We got the dressing down of our lives and told if word

got out our time at this school would be pretty much over. Little did I know that

was soon going to happen to me anyway.


Standing. And did you stay quiet.


Seated.     Yeah absolutely. Look we were young but not complete idiots. With all the stress

I used to get from the homophobes I was very sympathetic to the trials gay

people can experience.


Standing. And so Mr Davidson found out.


Seated.     I reckon so. He became quite aggressive towards me and a fortnight latter caused

a ruckus for me at home. If it was a plan to get me out of his hair it worked.


Standing. Err…shouldn’t we cut to a flashback at this point.

Seated.       Actually I was wondering if just before we did that we could have a wee look at

something else I’ve written.


Standing.   Oh Christ. I really don’t think this is the right moment for another of your poems.

If there ever is such a moment ever again, on this planet, in any type of

multiple imagined futures.


Seated.     No, it’s a scene from another play.


Standing. So now we’re doing a play within a play? I swear to God if you bring up Bertolt

Brecht here I am genuinely going to slap you.


Seated.     (LAUGHS) But that is quite Brechtian.


Standing. No! This is not bloody Brechtian! Look I’m a professional actress…


Seated.     (STILL WITH LAUGHTER) Ooh now you’re breaking the fourth wall. I never put

that in the script. Although doing that is a bit Brechtian.


Standing. No it isn’t! This isn’t Brechtian! I’ll tell you what it is, its Morecambe and Wiseian.

It’s Little Ern turning to Eric and going, “Do you want to hear the play what I



Seated.     (WITH HUMOUR) It’s a new genre.  


Standing. No it’s not a new genre. It’s the literary fumbling of a first year student with

                   two weeks experience under their belt at Uni.


Seated.     Exactly! So cut me some slack. Actually before we do the play can I say a little bit

Bit about Brecht?



Standing. (SIGHS) Enlighten us.


Seated.     Well first off you’re right. I know very little about Brecht. The other students do

but they’ve done A Level Drama I haven’t. But what I am finding out so far I’m

really excited about it. All that socialism and strangeness is right up my junction.

But the point I want to make…well the discovery I’ve made…


Standing. You’ve made a new discovery about Brecht? After over a century of academics

studying him?


Seated.     No not so much Brecht more David Bowie.


Standing. Oh Christ, we might have known you’d try and crowbar him into this somewhere

along the line.


Seated.      There’s a bust of him in the bar of this theatre. Bowie’s cool. Look just listen. In

class last week we were split into groups to discuss Stanislavski and Brecht. As

the other students spoke more about Brechts work, mentioning alienation

etcetera, as a lifelong Bowie fan, it hit me quite hard how much Bowies output is

influenced by Brecht. He did actually study him you know.

Let’s take for example Ziggy Stardust. The lyrics and story of Ziggy have a winking

quality to them. One minute he’s talking about Ziggy but at the same time also

about himself and the business of pop stardom. That provides multiple levels to

the text. It’s not just Rock and Roll but drama and music about Rock and Roll.

As the story unfolds the protagonist is survivor and victim rolled into one and the

villain is the audience and the trappings of fame. Also is there a weirder icon

than Ziggy? He’s the most successful weird haircut in show biz history.

Then there’s the alienation effect. Bowie performs Ziggy at arms length from the

character. He narrates the character from a distance. Pure Bertolt Brecht!

“Planet Earth is blue and there’s nothing I can do.”


Standing. Right…I’ll tell you what little Ern before you write your next play not so many

Cheese sandwiches…Come on then what’s the play?


Seated.     Well it’s just a scene really. It was another exercise we did. But what came out

I quite liked it’s kind of left wing but commercial. It’s a bit Educating Rita. You

know like the sort of thing you might see at The Live Theatre.


Standing. Well let’s hope for the sake of your future they’re not in.


Seated.     It could be fun to do. And it gives you something to perform.


Standing. OK but can we agree in this context this isn’t Brecht. It’s what I would refer to

as padding.


Seated.      Yes you’re probably right. But you know I’m…



Standing.   We know, you’re new, you’re raw. What’s it called?


Seated.       The Cleaner. I’ll do Mr Radisson you be the cleaner. You should perhaps read

The opening stage directions.






Scene 1.                                                                                                                                                                

A man enters and finds a letter. He opens the letter, reads it and tears it into little pieces, then leaves.

A woman then enters. She is cleaning. On the wall are two paintings, one of Winston Churchill and one of Margaret Thatcher. She dusts the Churchill then blows a raspberry and makes a rude gesture towards the Thatcher leaving it uncleaned. She then finds the letter and starts to piece it back together.

Mrs Ribble.    Ee…Someone’s not popular. There must be about two thirds of that shower asking for

his resignation. Shower o’ shite the lot of em.

The man re-enters. He finds the cleaner with the letter.

Mr Radisson. Err…hello. Are you the new cleaner? You really shouldn’t be reading that you know.

Mrs Ribble.   Divin’t worry pet. Your secret’s safe with me. Ah haven’t got that git from the papers

lodging in me spare room to cover that friggin’ tax o’ theirs.


Mr Radisson. You mean Rupert Murdoch?


Mrs Ribble.   No the one that does the gossip column. Piers…something…Anyway he’s gone right

doon in my estimation since he was hacking all them phones. How dare they, and Hugh

Grant was such a gentleman about it all.


Mr Radisson. Yes but I really must stress the severity of this. If one word gets out…err…Mrs, Ms?


Mrs Ribble.   Ribble. Like rabble but with an ibble as opposed to an abble.


Mr Radisson. Well Mrs Ribble I really can’t emphasise enough how what you’ve read mustn’t be

spoken of outside this room. I have to prepare a statement in response. You do realise

this is what we call a political coup? There’s every bit of a chance I might not even be

in this office this time next week.


Mrs Ribble.   It must be hard…


Mr Radisson. It was expected. You see I’m trying to take the party back to…

Mrs Ribble.   No I mean on your feelings. It must be hard on your feelings. There’s a lot of people

on that list I’m sure you regarded as friends and yet here they are putting the knife in.

That must be hard. I reckon a lot of folks don’t really see you as a real person. Just

another face off telly. To tell you the truth Mr Radisson I’ve never really been

interested in the world of politics but that was because the world of politics was never

really interested in me. But then you arrived and I thought you had some nice ideas. I’d

like cheaper trains. I have to get the train here every day and it costs a bloody fortune.

It’s no wonder they’re called Virgin ‘cos no bugger wants to ride on them. (LAUGHS)


Mr Radisson. (LAUGHS) Oh that really is quite good…


Mrs Ribble.   Ee maybes you could use it at the next Prime Ministers question time.


Mr Radisson. Well… perhaps not. Look, Mrs Ribble that really was the kindest thing I’ve had said to

me in months.  I am a person and yes this betrayal is causing all sorts of pains. These

ideas of mine aren’t new, if anything they’re quite old fashioned. They’re what this

party is supposed to stand for. However much a brave face I put on this I really am not

sure this is a fight I can win. Too many of own party have a lot to lose.


Mrs Ribble.   Well I for one hope you take them on and fight this oot. And there’s a lot of folk fee

l like me aboot you. You’re a proper fresh breath ye are. If it helps there’s a saying we

have in my family, I don’t know if it’s become popular, but we say it a lot. It goes,

Divin’t let cunts put ye in a mincer.

Mr Radisson. Err…I think that might be, don’t let the bastards grind you down.

Mrs Ribble.   Trust me pet. I know what I mean. My husband came up with it after he saw that film

Frago.  Anyhoo I best get on. I’ve got a pile of overtime on since we did a Brexit. Most

of the other cleaners have buggered off back to where they come from. And who can

blame them! (LAUGHS)



Seated.           That’s it.


Standing.       Really? I wanted to know what developed.


Seated.          Well I thought she would become his main confidante and give him all the advice he

needed to lead him to power.


Standing.       And then they get married?


Seated.           No, then there’s an outbreak of zombies and everybody dies.


Standing.      For real?


Seated.          You know there’s no such word as naive in the English language.


Standing.       I think it’s time we went back.


Seated.           I think it is.  





Lighting change to blue.


Father.       Just look at what you’ve done. Look at the state your mother’s in. What have?

You got to say about that?


Son.             But I didn’t do this. This isn’t the full truth.


Father.        So who’s responsible then? Who did this? Who reduced your mother to tears?


Son.             It’s Mr Davidson. He did this. He’s got…he’s got…it’s hard to explain.


Father.        Come on then let’s hear it.


Son.             He’s got…he’s got…(SIGHS) He’s got it in for me.


Father.       Of course he’s got it in for you. You’ve been skiving bloody school.


Son.             But I haven’t.


Father.       So where were you today? Why did he phone your mother to say you were



Son.             It’s the last day before the Easter holidays. Loads of folk take it off. I haven’t

before but Martins mum said it would be alright. I only took the morning off

and went in in the afternoon. But Mr Davidsons lying, I don’t skive school.


Father.       You don’t skive school? So what were you doing today? You’re a liar. That’s all

we ever get from you, lie after lie. And I tell you this that’s the last you’ll be

seeing of Martin. The trouble with you is you think you’re better than the rest

of us. It’s all play and no work with you. A normal job isn’t good enough for you is

is it?


Son.           I don’t think that.


Father.     Yes you do. It’s time you faced up to reality. Helen is it this week he hands in

his O-Level choices? Well he’s not doing drama and art anymore…no don’t you

stick up for him look at the state he’s had you in.


Son.           No…no…please that’s why I love school…


Father.     Oh love school do you that’s why you can’t be bothered going.


Son.           Please…I’m good at those things.



Father.   Those things won’t get you a job in the real world. And the real world is where

you’re going to start living. That’s my final word.


Son.          Please, please, please….


Lighting change back to present.


Seated.     Shit that really is raw. I can remember every minute of that.


Standing. You wanted to study drama?


Seated.     Yes.


Standing. And that’s where you got stopped from doing that.


Seated.     Yes.


Standing. That must have been hard.


Seated.     I was devastated. But the real truth was I always knew this would happen. I’m

from a mining town in the Lothians of Scotland. People don’t do drama where

I’m from. I sometimes make a joke about it. I say, If Billy Elliot grew up in the

town where I’m from they would have broken his fucking legs.


Standing. That’s really not that funny.


Seated.     I know.


Standing. That really was quite cruel of your father.


Seated.     I hated him for years. But I see things different now. In his way he was trying to

look out for me. He could be a distant man but when I became ill he was always

there for me.


Standing. You became ill.


Seated.     Not long after this incident I fell into my first depression. I was fourteen. It was

noticeable to everybody. I went from being this bright happy go lucky kid to being

incredibly withdrawn. Suicide was on my mind a lot. It turned out this was just

the tip of the iceberg. I’d been a good academic achiever at school, but after this

things started to slide. I left school at sixteen and took an apprenticeship as a

printer. I left that job after seven years. It was in my mid-twenties that the

condition fully manifested itself.


Standing. The condition?



Seated.   Bi-Polar disorder. Bi-Polar one to be more accurate. Quite an acute version of

The illness. I was misdiagnosed with schizophrenia at first. That was shit. Not the

best of chat up lines when you’re young. “Hello you’re a sexy Goth. By the way

I’ve got this wee schizophrenia thing going on but don’t worry you’ll like all of us.”

But I fought back. It was really hard. I lost years. Eventually though I started to

make a living doing funny monologues in bar rooms and clubs around the UK.

Around seven years ago I responded very well to a new type of treatment. I’ve

been pretty well ever since. Before that was chaos. It’s funny but my dad used to

say, “If you’re going to study drama you’ll  need to have a trade to fall back on.” I

think we both would have laughed at the fact that my fall back trade is actually

the performing arts.

The past impacts the future. The impact it had on me was to induce pure

determination. I even think had I been allowed to do what I wanted none of us

might be here now. I might have just drifted. The condition was going to happen

regardless of how good an actor I was


Standing. I see, you said earlier there would be a horrible or even unbelievable revelation.

I fully understand how difficult things must have been for you but you know

these experiences of yours aren’t that out of the ordinary.


Seated.     Oh no that isn’t to do with me. No, that’s to do with what happened to Mr

Davidson. Look I wouldn’t make this up. If you need evidence just Google

British school teacher, Thailand, throat slit.


Standing. Someone slit his throat? Killed him?


Seated.     Yes. The weird thing was it was reported in the press that he’d been killed in

what was described as “A ritual sacrifice.” I’m from a small town and everybody

just assumed this was some kind of cover up. We all thought he’d been some

kind of dubious sex tourist. Please understand that was nothing to do with is

sexuality and everything to do with the fact he was in Thailand.


Standing. Did you feel a sense of vengeance?


Seated.     No. But I didn’t exactly feel sorry for him either. The thing is though when I was

putting this together I did some research into his death and it brought me back

to another theme in Bacon Knees and Sausage Fingers. In that play Bacon Knees

has a horrendously abusive child hood and it impacts on his behaviour. That

impact on his behaviour then impacts on how people perceive him. As I was

writing this I realised the events of those days with the Polaroids had really

impacted on how I perceived Mr Davidson and his death. When I looked into it I

discovered it had been misreported. It was a straight forward burglary.

I was glad to find this out. I was glad he wasn’t the villain I’d created of him.

It’s all in how the stories told I suppose.


Standing. But things are good now yes? You’re finally at uni. You’re enjoying it.

You’re learning new things. You’re being creative.


Seated.     Yes I love it. I actually found out I was accepted on the day David Bowie died.

That day was also happened to be my birthday and I was at my mums’ house. You

know what she said…she said…”That’s David Bowie leaving the planet so you can

have some of his life.” That made me blubber all the way from Edinburgh to

Newcastle, but in a nice way. Kind of like an emotional buzz. I was filled with all

sorts of emotions. Expectation and closure and grief and sadness and happiness.


Standing. That’s drama for you.


Seated.     I suppose so.


Standing. Any final words? A poem, a play, perhaps a one hour monologue on your mental



Seated.     Actually it’s funny you should say that but that’s exactly where I am just now. I’m

In another theatre doing exactly that. That’s what I find so thrilling about this. I

can give it away. The collaboration with others is the most exciting thing. As a

species I think we do better in gangs.  I’m not precious about this at all.  Trust

me you can do it dressed up as Ziggy Stardust if you want.


Standing. Boy am I glad that’s one bit of stage information our director chose to ignore.


Seated.   Thanks ever so much for doing this it means a huge amount to me.


Standing. You’re welcome.


Morecambe and Wise Bring Me Sunshine plays.


John Gets Mad. Bi-Polar Tales 2. Introductions and so who’s really mad?

Here’s another part of a new stand up show I’m putting together on mental health…

I was actually really reluctant to do this at first because unlike physical disability mental health still carries a lot of stigma. Mind you we’re getting to a stage now where comedy audiences at least are starting to go, “Oh…another Bi-Polar comedian…that’s original.”

It’s fair to say there are a few of us out there. I was thinking of gathering us all together, forming a jazz band and calling ourselves Mood Swings.

I actually get quite jealous of the physically Disabled. They get an entire Olympics. We get a Stephen Fry documentary every ten years.

When Stephen did that first documentary on Bi-Polar. I watched it and was gobsmacked to see we both had the same psychiatrist. I though, “Well I’ve not had his comedy career, but when it comes to shit mental health I’m up there with the elites.”

I do love the Paralympics and trying to figure out what the fuck is going on at times. One night I tuned in I genuinely thought they were having a three legged race. It turned out to be the blind sprinting. They have a guide running beside them. One guy was actually disqualified because the guide was hauling him along. Mind you he was strapped to Usain Bolt. Poor guy was screaming “Help! I think I’ve be tied to a Cheetah.”

Saying that, those guys don’t get it easy either. Now that the Paralympics is over I’m sure they’ve all been declared fit for work and sent to do time in some Mike Ashley style workhouse.

My Bi-polar is a bit different from Stephen Fry’s. He’s Bi-Polar Two I’m Bi-Polar One. Not that I’m saying here…Hey! My Bi-Polar is better than yours. Mines has gold epaulettes, brass buttons and is here to save the planet. Although being the centre of the world is a common delusion of BP 1. It’s not until the finally get you into a psyche ward that you realise, “The Masons are after me.” is quite a common delusion among the mentally ill. Which initially doesn’t help. “What is this place? They’ve managed to catch you as well? Is this some kind of holding facility for those that know the truth?”

You meet people with other mental illnesses as well. I feel for the schizophrenics. Bi-Polar is quite trendy now but those guys get bad press. Sadly it’s a condition where very rarely AND IT IS VERY RARE something bad happens and someone gets hurt. Saying that if Katie Hopkins is ever to go on QI could we maybe get the Yorkshire Ripper as guest host.

Those guys have auditory hallucinations. They hear voices. That must be absolutely awful. What gets me is the voices seem to tell them to do bad things like kill the neighbours. Why do they never say sensible things like, “Hey, maybe it’s time you tidied the house….Feeling a bit anxious? Perhaps you should give your mum a phone…or hey this is God. Have you ever thought about switching to a cheaper energy supplier.”

But you tell me…Who’s really mad. Those with delusions in a made up world or those with delusions in the real world? That’s right we’re about to make someone like Donald Trump the most powerful man on the planet. He shows all the characteristics of a psychopath and you folks think that’s a vote winner. People were surprised recently when he showed some concern for Hilary Clintons health. Yeah but we never saw that on camera. He issued a statement. I can guarantee there was some fucker putting a gun to his head going, “Just say the fucking words on the paper.”

We have our own deluded type in this country. The Working class Tory. What the fuck is that? You know what that is…remember those missionaries who used to head up the jungle, meet a tribe of cannibals and go Hey we’ve got some new friends and they’ve invited us to dinner. All the time not realising they’re on the fucking menu. That’s what a working class Tory is.

So you tell me. Who’s mad?


I/Mmature Student 3. More Macbeth. More fellow writers.

Did you know that Shakespeare wrote Macbeth as his response to the Gunpowder plot? I did actually know this myself but it had gone to the recess of my mind until I started reading it  again the other day. The version I’m reading is the Arden publication that comes with helpful notes for those, like me, not well verses in The Bard.  Shakespeare was obviously loyal to the Royal Court and with good reason if James 1st had detected any obvious sedition in his work he would have chopped his head off. Which you have to admit is probably a bit worse than a one star review. For a more modern example of a similar situation see Mel and Sue’s loyalty to the Court of the BBC when choosing not to flee to  Channel 4 with The Bake Off. Trust me I’ve met some BBC producers and if they thought they could get away with the odd beheading the gates to their studios would now currently be decorated with the heads of the former hosts of Top Gear. On a personal note I could not give but one fuck as to what Channel people want to watch people bake on. I’m of the school of thought that reality TV is just another nail in the coffin of  quality TV Drama. Although I have often thought we could improve The Jeremy Kyle show by getting rid of the lie detector test and just make the opposing factions fight some crocodiles.

So last week I got to meet the rest of Northumbria’s second and third year writers. Some of them knew me already due to trips to the local comedy club. The seem a lovely bunch. I was asked in a group bonding session what I looked forward to most in the coming years and replied collaborating with others. Stand up is a lonely job and having worked in a sketch show and produced my own panel show I’m fully aware of the good results you can get in a gang. The more experienced students offered good advice about joining the writing and drama society as this way we can get time to know the actors better and form some bonds. Apparently at times the actors can worry the writers think ourselves a wee bit above them. How silly, we don’t think ourselves better than them at times. We know we’re better than them all the time. This reminded me of the opening credits of the meta superhero movie Dead Pool. When the credits got to the point “Written By.” It quite knowingly said, “The real heroes of this story.” (I’ll add a knowing wink here as I am partially joking. 😉 Actually I’m fully joking. I’ve admired “The Shit” actors can do for decades. They have abilities way beyond my own. Just look at how long Tom Cruise has managed to convince us he’s straight.

I’m off to see two plays next week. This is more plays than I’ve seen this year and I’m quite excited to be immersing myself in a strand of the arts I’m not familiar with. I’ll report more on that once having seen them.

So I think that’s me for the day. It’s sunny so I’m off out for a walk. On return I’ve a list of stuff needs doing, so we’ll get onto that. Have a nice Sunday all.



I/Mature Student. 1. Northumbria Uni. 1st impressions.

It’s enrolment week at Northumbria university. As I’m starting a degree in Drama and Script writing I’ve been advised to start a blog or keep a diary of my thoughts and experiences. It’s nice when you’re ahead of the curve.  So far I’ve only been picking up my student ID and been to a chat on the Library.

For a Uni that used to be a polytechnic Northumbria sits high on academic leagues.  The Library stands among the equal top 8 in the UK and yes that’s alongside the Oxbridge toffs. Having lived in Newcastle for 13 years this doesn’t surprise me. As a city with limited resources the Geordies are adept at looking after their own. They’ve thrown much effort into their newest centre for academic excellence and it’s nice to see so many working class kids being able to throw up two fingers to the supposedly more established Newcastle University which is just across the road. Did one of them produce the touchscreen  phone or I-Pad? No that was someone from my Uni, ta very much.



Some distinct personality traits of Cat and dog people…

I lifted the below piece of informed journalism and in no way obvious piece of click bait from the Huffington PostSo below that I’ve added some of my own thoughts…

“Cats are unpredictable, but that’s not entirely true of cat owners. So-called “cat people” tend to share a lot of the same personality traits, as studies have proven having a cat at home can say a lot about a person’s character, health and dating life.

For example, News reports research shows cat owners often exhibit introverted qualities, especially compared to dog owners, who tend to be more outgoing and energetic. Cat owners have also been found to be smarter, more sensitive and more non-conformist than their canine-loving counterparts.

But that doesn’t mean those with fancy felines win the age-old cat people vs. dog people debate: While there are great health benefits to owning a pet of any kind, cat owners also earn fewer health benefits than dog owners. And as for relationships, there may be some truth to that single cat lady stereotype.”


  1. Really don’t like cats or worse still cat people.


  1. Completely indifferent to dogs and dog people. But my god why have your life constantly dictated to by some idiot animal that requires constant exercise and an on hand toilet attendant.


  1. Are more extrovert and socially will point out, “I’m a people person.”


  1. 57% of cat people are Nazis/super villains on the run. They see people as collateral.


  1. Crave unconditional love.


  1. Can see the benefits of enforced population control.


  1. Stand a better chance of being rescued in a natural disaster by their pet.


     4. Caused the so called “natural disaster” from inside their secret volcano base.


     5. Only 2% of people don’t like dogs. This could explain the term mans best friend.


     5. 27% of people don’t like cats. The cats seem indifferent to this.   


  1. Clips of dogs doing cool things they’ve been trained to do are popular on the internet.


  1. Clips of cats just being cats are more popular. Cats are trained in improvisation by the Russian masters.


  1. Now that the 5 pence plastic bag charge has been introduced economically Dog owners are on a shakier footing.


  1. If your lonely aunt is a cat person have a look in her spare plastic bag drawer. Your inheritance has now gone up by around 60 quid.


  1. Dog people can control their pet through scolding. The dog will show fear and submission by putting their tail between its legs.


    8.  When a cat is scolded they tend to call in their secretary to take an accurate dictation of your complaint. All points will      then be considered and held against you as evidence at a future time.


    9. Dog people feel more protection from burglars.


    9. Accept that “Cat” is a type of burglar.


    10. Dog peoples pets enjoy sitting on their lap because they love them.


     10.  A cat persons pet will sit on their lap because they are warm…even for the short period after death. Once the body cools they’ll move in with a neighbour.


  11. A dog person can turn 1000 dogs into their own personal army.


     11. Even God could exercise no control over 1000 cats.


     12.  Can identify with their pet on an almost human level. If dogs could talk they’d be in endless conversation.


    12. If cats could talk they’d probably still ignore you.

Corbyn defeats Queen In Championship Hide and Seek finals.


Communist berserker Jeremy Corbyn narrowly defeated The Queen in this weeks national Hide and Seek championship finals.

After losing the toss her majesty was designated ”it” leaving Corbyn and fellow finalists to conceal themselves around Buckingham Palace. With this being a home game her majesty got off to a strong start. After her initial count to 63, one for every year she’s been on the throne, and may we be among the many to congratulate her majesty on the remarkable achievement of not dying, the game was on. Ready or not here one comes!

As an opening gambit Liz Regina had the national anthem played on full volume through the royal P.A. A cunning tactic that proved highly effective.  Within seconds Eamonn Holmes stood up revealing himself to be inside an 18th century large English oak mule chest coffer.

Then by following her finally attuned royal ear Kirsty Allsop was next up for the catch when she was discovered droning along to the words of God Save The Queen and hiding stereotypically behind some Renaissance drapery. “I just can’t understand why anyone would not join in with the anthem. But with some double sided sticky tape and a roll of vintage patchwork Rosalind Rose cotton you too can hide behind drapes just like these” remarked Kirsty. “Quite” Was the Queens terse reply.

But Corbyn was not to be tempted. If he was standing it wasn’t within Elizabeths eye line. And he has a strong track record on not being caught out by the lyrics.

The Queen then ramped up the pressure by announcing loudly, “Right! That’s it. I’m going to swear in the Privy Council.”

Was that a whisper of “Prior engagement” ironically coming from behind a vintage  Thomas Crapper Privy? Perhaps, but by the time her majesty threw the toilet door  open he was gone.

For her final tactic the Queen then threw on a state banquet and loudly exclaimed, “The Chinese President is heeeeeere!”

It seemed inevitable that Corbyn would leap from his hiding place and try to confront said President on his human rights record. Alack nay! The wily red had already arranged a prior meeting with said president on this very topic. Pretty underhand stuff, yet fairly typical behaviour for a man known to take 11 items through the 10 item checkout.

In the end the Soviet bastard that he is was announced winner.  He is yet to claim his prize of a late supper with MI6.

10 Things you just won’t believe about BuzzFeed

1: We never use images of busty women as click bait.

2: We never use stolen images or crib stuff from Tumblr or Twitter.

3: Articles about cats and dogs are not appreciated.

4: Your memories of the 80s mean nothing to us.

5: We never delete posts that criticise our advertisers.

6: All of our articles on weight loss actually work

7: Same goes for hair loss.

8: We never knowingly post hoaxes and if we do they are taken down immediately.

9: We are never guilty of exactly the same type of dodgy ethics we often pompously draw your attention to.

10: Pop culture related lists are not out modus operandi. We merely publish them to sooth all of our moronic followers.

10.5: We always do lists that are rounded up or down to the nearest factor of ten.