Running In A Kilt (does not get you to Scotland)

The creative inside me gets very excited at the prospect of wearing lots of hats. The metaphoric type - although lately I have taken a liking to the very cliche but still quite cool Yankees cap. The other less iconic hats I've been wearing say things like 'Graphic Designer wanna be' 'Film Editor Enthusiast' 'Most Improved Photoshop User' and 'Destroyer of M&Ms'. Some of these I have gotten to wear for the first time, finding out whether they suit my slightly bumpy head, while others have a nice worn in fit. The past month I have gotten to spend time in Nashville with my family while prepping for the three month adventure in Scotland that was supposed to start yesterday. Well the adventure I guess you could say certainly started, just not nearly with the sort of gusto I expected. I had 24 hours in NY to terrorize gift shops and Apple stores collecting all the wires and postcards and I heart NY shirts my bags could hold. (side note: in my haste I managed to get shirts that don't actually say 'I heart NY' they actually say 'I 'big apple image' NY... same thing right?) Even with an additional print deadline overhead I managed to collect all of my prizes and ship off the files to various parts of the world. I felt a bit like Jack Bauer on an off day, still pretty epic, just domestically epic. Having accomplished this balancing act of various hats on my head, I failed to remember to place an additional hat on top... The 'NY Transport is out to get you' hat. Gnarled old helmet in bright orange plastered in warning signs. This hat is essential if you ever want to be anywhere on time in NY. Don't ever leave home without it... I did.

It was about 30 minutes into waiting for the A train I was transferring to that would take me to JFK airport, sweat dripping down my back from overbearing bags and lack of any type of permissible breathing air, that I remembered that the NY public transport system, although in theory excellent, hardly ever does you any favors. A cramped ride followed by a mad dash through what is an unnecessarily wide airport terminal meant that I reached the check in counter 5 minutes too late. The gates were shut. Cue battle cry music and a passionate scream towards the heavens in slow motion (Create epic moments hat).

So I am still in NY, hoping to catch a flight on standby today, or tomorrow, and meanwhile trying to finish off the jobs that the other hats are still demanding be done.  I keep a family mantra in my head 'It's all good'. Because it is really. Soon enough I'll be headed to Scotland to spend 3 months working on a piece that I have been blessed enough to co-write, co-produce, design print for, direct and edit film for, and eventually even act in. I can't thank everyone who has supported us along the way enough for helping this be a reality and getting me out of the NY summer sun for a few months and back to the wind rain and familiar faces that I am very fond of. Here's to adventures, because they wouldn't be very adventurous if you could predict what was happening next...


Blast Hamlet Toronto October 2012

Yes, yes I know. You don't hear anything from us for months and now we're doing two different shows in two different countries in a week.  Yes, we are the victims of our own enthusiasm but both were just far too good to say 'no' to.

For information on our NYC show please take a look at the Pirates and Mermaids blog post on our website's front page.

If you want to know about our Blast Hamlet in Toronto?  Here's the place to be.

Our regular readers and audiences will know that we've had a huge amount of fun doing Hamlet before - we did a Bad Quarto at the Tron that was a hoot and asked its audience to become court lackeys and lords.

Read, worked and rehearsed over two or three days and with the actors constantly up on the floor, a Blast Shakespeare asks a lot from the participants - actors have to be bold, skilled, committed, generous to each other and willing to sometimes try things that just don't work.  But mostly they have to be brave enough to play. To look past the iconic status of Shakespeare's plays and treat them like a new work - with all the searching, questioning and confidence that most actors bring to a new piece of work.

Because, and do stop me if you've heard this one before, Shakespeare didn't write for academics, classicists or exams - fine, fascinating and useful as all those things are - but for actors; who knew him, who were very skilled but also just had to get the job done in a damn short space of time, who respected him but who would have had plenty to say about the piece of writing they were given to realise and who wouldn't have had any issue with messing with it if it made things work better, faster, more engagingly.

In other words, who didn't treat the work as a holy relic but as something that had to come alive when it was at point of contact with an audience and who would have done all the things that great actors do to make sure that coming alive was what happened.

So the first week in October is an exciting one as Jeremiah Reynolds (our Bad Quarto Hamlet) and myself head up to Toronto to join 8 bold and capable souls in a two day journey of Dr Toby Malone's wonderful Bad Quarto/Folio  hybrid text The Hamlet Variorum - ending (as ever) with a live performance where even we won't know exactly what happens next. You don't get much more 'live' than that.

See me? Ah cannae wait!

Pirates and Mermaids: NYC October 2012

Well hello there strangers.

After the success of In A Sma' Room and Blood and Roses at the Merchant City Festival we are delighted to be going back to NYC with the first of our World Voices plays next month.  Pirates and Mermaids will be taking up residence and making itself at home in Central and Prospect Parks before the weather turns chilly before making  a return in the spring. (Well, they tell us winters in New York are kinda chilly).

The first of a suite of plays we are staging across the world as part of our international World Voices projects Pirates and Mermaids examines what distance really means and how much the footprint of place and personal history shapes who we are and what we do.

Like a lot of our work, it's a very human experience - and in this case, it's one involving sweets (candy), a swally (drinks) and an interesting reliance on mobile phones as Cameron and Eilidh navigate the rollercoaster of life, love and personal responsibility across an ocean and eyewatering cultural differences.

Playful in approach and profound in its ambitions the show was Co-written by Sandy Thomson (Playwright Studio Scotland Award Winner) and Jeremiah Reynolds (Poorboy Artistic Associate), the script kicks off an epic story that spans the globe with 6 interlinked but independent plays being produced in 6 different countries over the next 4 years.

We're excited.

We're very excited.

We had such a wonderful time working in New York in April and can't wait to visit both it and our NYC permanent resident Jeremiah. Poorboy's ambassador in the US has done a sterling job of developing and writing the script whilst juggling other festival performances in the City - and running, always and no matter what's happening, running miles and miles in preparation for the New York marathon.  He seems unfazed that he'll be performing Hamlet, yes, in the title role, with us in Toronto as scant week before he opens in Pirates and Mermaids in NYC.

For details of the show email or call us (see Contact).  And we'll see you soon!

Dear New York

“New york, new york
I want to wake up in a city, that never sleeeeeeeps...”

Dear New York,

Frank Sinatra loved you so much he sang a song about you; and boy, do we love you too. Really and truly a city that never sleeps. The lights, the streets, the people, the food man you guys know how to live life in the fast lane. Such an incredible city; filled to the brim with never ending excitement and beeping yellow taxi’s, waffles for breakfast and vintage shops you could get lost in forever. Just, incredible.

We strutted our stuff down 5th Avenue in our tartan attire for the Tartan Day Parade, ate like kings, witnessed the beginnings of a flash mob pillow fight and learned how to jaywalk as Jeremiah assured us that ‘Cabs won’t run you over, they get into real trouble if they do that.

We had such a phenomenal time, can’t wait to visit again. Our Director, Sandy Thomson, is already planning her return visit in October– a research trip in preparation for our a new script and a developing project that gives a bit rough love to the world’s best known classic play (more of these later.  Watch out for news as our plans for world domination roll ever onwards).

So we staged ‘To Kill A Kelpie’ in both Theatre 80 St Marks Place and St Luke’s – just off the insanity of Times Square. Huge thank you to both venues.  We workshopped a Shakespearean Bad Quarto with Toby Malone, Jeremiah, Patrick and Michael in ways that would have made the Bard cackle with joy.

Heartfelt thank yous also go to all of the following people for making our time in NYC so fantastic: Lauren Brown our ninja-esque designer/production manager, Gavin and his photographic skills, Sandra from Wooster Group for first class information and chat, PS122 to for hosting our understudy rehearsals and workshop madness, Toby for embarking the most ridiculously paperwork-challenged flying visit from Toronto to New York to be with us as we plot and plan, our chatty colleagues at Skirlball Centre and St. Ann’s Warehouse and Pam and Stop the Silence: Stop Child Sexual Abuse, our partner organisation for Kelpie.

And of course Matthew McVarish, Allan Lindsay and Jeremiah for rehearsing and performing a beautiful and extremely challenging play with verve, commitment and joy.

By Matthew McVarish. Directed by Sandy Thomson. A Poorboy theatre production co-produced with Stop the Silence: Stop Child Sexual Abuse, Inc. Supported by Creative Scotland. In association with The Moira Anderson Foundation

To Kill A Kelpie Trailer

Kelpie – a supernatural being that takes the form of a horse. From Scottish folklore it is said to dwell in the lochs harbouring a desire to drown any mortal that comes close enough. Their uncle told them there was one in the loch outside the cottage, and if they ever told anyone what he did, he would feed them to it. They were just wee boys. Twins Dubhghall and Fionnghall have never talked about what happened back then. Both handled the memories in their own ways. Brought together to sort out the cottage after the death of their uncle, the past looks likely to remain dormant but monsters whether real or imagined have a way of never lying truly dormant, even with the passage of time. By Matthew McVarish. The New York Production Directed by Sandy Thomson. In New York, a Poorboy theatre production co-produced with Stop the Silence: Stop Child Sexual Abuse, Inc. Supported by Creative Scotland. In association with The Moira Anderson Foundation.

Friends the World Over

Theatre: the collaborative discipline that puts the art in heart; and Poorboy knows some truly amazing people.

Tucked away from the sun in a rehearsal room in Glasgow two actors continue to push the boundaries of what is possible whilst being ablely directed. (Matthew McVarish, Allan Lindsay, Sandy Thomson).

On the Welsh/English border we've got a composer writing heart breaking music; bending the notes of instruments in ways they shouldn't be bent and sending them in directions with epic skill in order to get the sound of mythological creatures (Alex Attwood)

In a tiny village on the east coast of Scotland sewing machines can be heard going six to the dozen as a Tailoress with such skill she makes Alexander McQueen, John Galliano and Vivienne Westwood look like bumbling rookies as she constructs a fabric creation worthy of such titles as "Eighth Wonder of the World" and "Design of the Millenia" (Violet Thomson)

Whilst in the Scottish heartland the creative with a solar system in her brain waits patiently for the arrival of the To Kill A Kelpie cast and directors visa's to arrive whilst immersing herself in the wisdom of Stanislavsky, and constructing project plans with nation wide collaborative creative connection intentions (Christy Johansen)

Across the pond in New York our Production Manager is hunting down Scotland's native orange concoction in the only outlet in NYC to stock and sell Irn Bru whilst beging zoned in on her design briefs (Lauren Brown)

Then in Maryland there are two people master minding the marketing campaign whilst simultaneously keeping the wheels on the whole production wagon (Pamela Pine, Jacob Wilkins)

Also in New York our Understudy is working around the clock learning lines and blocking whilst at the same time training to run a road race this Sunday; an opportunity which he has stressed shall be utilised for an uninterrupted line run (Jeremiah Reynolds)

In Carcathon there is a tri-lingual translator running words by people finding out what Scottish accent can travel internationally; in London part of the cast of Mamma Mia! are chasing up their New York counterparts to make sure that they don't miss To Kill A Kelpie in New York; and in Toronto, Canada friends of Poorboy are currently arranging their travel to support the production in NYC.

The world may be a big old place with over 7 billion people living in it; but it is a sure fire fact that Theatre is a global village

- C

All Systems Go

Clear the way because the wagons are rolling; we're on full-steam ahead right into rehearsals for To Kill A Kelpie. We're in deep; there's scary Kelpie noises, intense warm ups and indepth character analysis.

Most prominent discussion thus far: Language debate: how Scottish is too Scottish? Where's the line between being coherant and it becoming a completely foreign language in itself?

One more week of rehearsal left before jetting off to New York and one question still remains: if you sit beside a loch late at night, would you see a Kelpie break the surface....

By Matthew McVarish. Directed by Sandy Thomson. A Poorboy theatre production co-produced with Stop the Silence: Stop Child Sexual Abuse, Inc. Supported by Creative Scotland. In association with The Moira Anderson Foundation

Never mind the Kelpie marketing - who are you? How are you?

Hello there you lot. Sandy here.

I like doing the website blog a lot of the time but I'll be honest, I worry we batter you lot with tons of information and are sometimes a bit 'meed-ja" (media) at you. This week and for the last month in fact, I've barely had time to talk to my nearest and dearest.  I appear to be working so hard I am not present even when I'm physically present. It's all very exciting but it's not right. So. I say 'pah' to marketing. I say 'pah' to overwork.  I say 'pah' to agreed standards of social media communication. Stuff the lot of it. Prepare for a very informal blog.

How are you all?  Seriously? How are you doing? What are you doing? Are you having a good time? I hope you are all well out there in the world. And if any of you have life/work balance advice, well, I'm all ears because I'm making a rubbish job of it right now.

I thought, instead of information on the shows we're doing I would tell you a little about the folk who are making things happen on our projects in Scotland.

First up - Elaine and Christy: Production and Management


Unperturbed and laden with stuff in Glasgow Necropolis

AKA: The Blonde Ninjas

Do not be mislead by the friendly manner.  These women will organise the living sh*t out of you.

Life/work balance: Ropey - tendency to believe there are 25 hours in a day and that they have three pairs of hands. For which I am grateful and which I both exploit and nag them about. How's that for passive/aggressive?

Relax by: Christy is a stand up (she has her first gig tonight - GO CHRISTY!!) Elaine seems to spend a lot of her time looking unbelievably glamorous for her photographer friends.

Next up - Matt and Allan: Actors


Sidey, our photographer is chanting 'serious, serious, serious'. It is having no effect.

AKA: The Giggle Twins

Never was the Director of a serious play more challenged.  My rehearsal room is a constant circus of off-colour jokes, muttered asides and smothered snorting.  I have been know to shout through at coffee break "What's so funny?" and the answer is always "Nuthin, nuthin, nuthin.  We cannae tell you that ain".

Relax by: Allan's a stand-up comedian (yes another one!).  I imagine that anything's relaxing compared to that. Matt relaxes by rewriting the world in his head so it is more amusing than real life then going off into paroxysm of giggling.

Life/work balance: Hmm. They both work and play hard. Making me feel old in the process.

Then there's Jeremiah - our Kelpie Understudy and NYC based Poorboy and me - Director


Both awake and in the same country/timezone - a rarity these days!

AKA: The Skype Addicts

Working different sides of the Atlantic whilst miraculously staying in step by means of Skype, Twitter, Facebook, Whatsapp and the occasional comedy Viber phone call (with 10 second delay).

Relax by: Jeremiah runs marathons and cooks.  I do neither of these things and will applaud/spectate/eat if asked.

Work/Life Balance: Jeremiah - admirable. Always very busy but never too rushed.  Always has time to chat or cook dinner. Me - pretty lamentable.  And that's a decent upgrade from last year which was around the 'cruising for exhaustion' mark. I am regularly dragged to the beach 90 seconds from my back door by my husband Jake for my daily dose of fresh air. I would have become some kind of scary mouse-like albino recluse without him.

Then there's Alex - Blood and Roses Composer/Co-Director and Sound Designer on Kelpie


Not actually an extra for '300' as the photo suggests...

AKA:" Time and Distance Mean Nada" Attwood

Sound wizard, composer and purveyor of fine music, father of the adorable Franklin and keeper of many chickens.  Able to create art at the drop of a hat (of which he has many - I think the straw bunnet is my favourite).

Relaxes by: cooking, making music, looking after babies and chickens, building many amazing constructions out of wood of intimidating size, moving house.

Work/Life balance: Somewhere in the middle.  I lose track of all the things he does but he always has time to fix a greenhouse. Slightly envy-making.

So that's us.  We'll run some more blogs introducing folk like the wonder that is Sidey Clark (photographer) and our colleagues over the pond soon.

Take care you lot. And remember, if you have a secret recipe for the Life/Work balance? No-one needs it more than us!


I will escape from this paperwork prison and get on with the ART goddamit!

Wind, Rain, Snow and the Never Ending Cyclists

Hiya folks! It's Christy here, the “Robin” to Sandy’s “Batman”.

 Yesterday saw us all don the thermals, hitch up the rucksacks and head out into the nitty gritty of Glasgow for the photo-shoot of To Kill a Kelpie; we braved rain, Scottish sunshine, snow, bitter winds, and grotty back alleyways.  Thank goodness for anti-bacterial wipes, we all needed hosed down after one alley in particular. After that it was doon to the river where we were bombarded with forty cyclists a minute and Sandy almost got blown off into the sun holding the light diffuser.  True, from a distance it would have made for an interesting looking kite but we tend to prefer our Artistic Director in land based form. Then it was off up the Necropolis to partake in a bit of kilt indulgence.  Even though the wind blew fair brisk we had a mighty fine time and the views from the top are just incredible. Oh, and the police might have turned up at one point....not guilty!

See below for photos from behind the scenes of the shennanigans.

"To Kill A Kelpie" by Matthew McVarish. Directed by Sandy Thomson. A Poorboy theatre production co-produced with Stop The Silence: Stop Childhood Sexual Abuse, Inc. Supported by Creative Scotland. In association with The Moira Anderson Foundation

Hud' Oan Tae Yer Socks Glasgow!

What’s that? You want us to what....Oh right. Okay then, let us just find the wellies, umbrella, thermos flasks, sandwiches, camera and what was the other thing we needed again? Oh yes!

The actors.

Buckle in Glasgow, Poorboy will be rocking up this Sunday to get snaps of our forth coming NY production of To Kill A Kelpie in and around the city centre. Rehearsals begin in about two weeks time with an Open Dress planned, more details on that soon. We’ll be out and about posing around the Merchant City (albeit minus a traffic-cone-on-head) you’ll find us lurking doon dark alleys, bouncing around the bonny bits and frolicking in the no so bonny bits of the ancient pulsing heart of the city.

We’re hoping it’s good weather because they haven’t started producing water proof cameras yet. Currently deciding on what’s most practical to be wearing, probably jeans and waterproof jackets. Or maybe, the boys might be donning attire of the kilt variety.... who knows?

By Matthew McVarish. Directed by Sandy Thomson. A Poorboy theatre production co-produced with Stop the Silence: Stop Child Sexual Abuse, Inc. Supported by Creative Scotland. In association with The Moira Anderson Foundation

New York City - Here we come

There's a reason for the long space between blogs.  We are delighted to tell you that Poorboy will be coming to NYC in April of this year.

We've scaled a mountain of paperwork to get to the good stuff - taking a show we love to a city we can't wait to meet and where we can catch up with so many of the friends and colleagues we haven't seen since Autumn, or since the Made In Scotland showcase at the Edinburgh Fringe last year.

The paperwork dragon is nearly slain. Stick with us folks. We'll be bringing you all the info you could want on what we're doing at home and in the USA very, very soon.

God Rest You Merry Gentlemen (And Ladies)

I am singing Christmas songs as I shuffle around the house trying to recover from last week.  There is nothing quite like doing a Christmas show to up your levels of festive spirit (and there's nothing like doing the take-down of a set in 90 minutes for covering you in bruises).  I am tired and sore, but very happy.

The Christmas Workshop was, in the end, a pretty magical experience - both for us and for audience members (of all ages).  Things I'll treasure (and there are so very many of them) is the memory of an entire audience singing 'Silent Night' in British Sign Language with the cast, of various mums crying at our Capra-esque scene in a train station, of a teenager asking us if the Elf Rap was downloadable (soon!) and of a tiny wee lassie who wasn't even 3 holding aloft a Christmas Tree bauble while everyone in the room egged her on, so that the whole audience could hear a Christmas message.  Memories are made of this stuff.


Warm up - Yes. Jennifer Bates is completely off the ground...

The dictionary definition of 'Ensemble' is "the general or total effect of something made up of individual parts".

I believe that the kind of magic that happened this weekend is a total effect made by the collective effort of the group of talented individuals who became The Christmas Workshop Ensemble.  And that that collective effort - joyfully undertaken - will always create a performance that lets individuals lift what they do to a new level or into a new area.

In theatre - as at Christmas - it's just as important to give as it is to receive.  It makes for a better performance, a better experience.

Ashley Smith, Brian Ferguson, Ben Dunn, Eilidh McCormack, Elaine Stirret, Jeremiah Reynolds, Jennifer Bates, Matthew McVarish, Maite Delafin and Simon Donaldson worked wonderfully as an Ensemble and made a Christmas Show to remember - not only performing but creating, writing, composing, designing, playing, singing, signing, propping, recording, editing, costuming, marketing, creating set, staging and lighting....they did absolutely everything and The Christmas Workshop was truly their own.

In this show the sense of a group effort was particular effective (Christmas shows are Ensemble pieces by their very nature) and it was also particularly relevant. Next week Jeremiah Reynolds (Sparks the Elf) - a pivotal member of our Ensemble - leaves Scotland to return to his (original) home to America.  The Christmas Workshop was his last show with us for a little while and we are all going to miss him enormously.

Jeremiah has been with the company for a long time.  He began with a residency at our Fringe Playrooms a couple of years ago, has been in a number of our productions, countless workshops and 6 weeks ago he played Hamlet in our Lab at the Tron Theatre.  In addition to acting, writing, editing film, doing voiceovers, rap and rollerskating he found our venue - The Glasgow City Free Church - for The Christmas Workshop and floated the idea of us making a temporary theatre space inside their building.  Then he built it with Ryan Smith, spending a whole day up a ladder hanging snowy white drapes.

He bakes - beautifully (and a lot).  In fact he cooks for people at the drop of a hat.  He has sailed, walked and run so many bits of Scotland in his time here he puts the rest of us to shame.  He trained here - at RSAMD - and he's taught here. He's been here so long his accent is undefinable.  He's been a best man.  He's danced at a number of weddings.  He has a kilt. He has singlehandedly introduced Thanksgiving to dozens and dozens of Jocks. He knows, cares about and is cared about by, more people than I think I've ever met.  In short - he left his family and friends in America to come here when he was just a young 'un (something I think is both brave and hard to imagine) and in the years he has been here he's made Scotland his home.  And now he is in the enviable but difficult position of having a family and friends in two different countries.

And The Ensemble are by no means alone in knowing that they'll miss him like a heartache when he moves.

But you know what? We say 'pah' to geography.  We say 'pah' to physical distance.  We say 'pah' to different time zones. We live in the age of transatlantic travel, email, skype, messaging and social media.  2 years ago Ailsa Watson, Jake Stewart and myself put in a bid for an world wide arts network - The Lunar Society.  We worked out about  a dozen different ways to stay connected to artists and do great collaborative work, no matter where someone was based.  The bid was unsuccessful but the ideas were great and we have every intention of using them so that Jeremiah remains an Ensemble member.

As they were taking down the set on Saturday Brian said to Ben "You know that's it, right?".  He meant that if you'd done a good bit of work with us we are unlikely to let you go.  That once you're in, that's it, in some form or another, you're stuck with us. I think that's a good thing.  And Jeremiah is too much a part of what we do to imagine that flying to another country will really put much of a dent in that.  The great thing about an permanent Ensemble is you don't shape the people to the work, you shape the work to the people - wherever they are.

So who knows what that might mean?

Travel safe Jeremiah.  Take care. Let's see what the next part of the adventure brings....

all our love

The Poorboys


Woo-Hoo! Showtime! Elf Rock, Roll, Rap and Rollerblades...

Hello you lot.  Tomorrow 'The Christmas Workshop' opens.  There are only a tiny handful of tickets left for the evening shows so look on The Christmas Workshop page of the website for details of how to book and hurry up or they'll be gone!

Well, an awful lot has happened since I blogged you last.  I am tired and a bit grubby (been rooting about in unused cupboards), but I'm very happy and more than a little impressed.

Is it wrong to cackle all the way through a show when you were involved in its creation?  I don't think so.  And I am.  I'm still laughing my head off. In fact, I will never look at a marshmallow without laughing again.

Volcanic fairies.

Slalom rollerblading.

Scientific and shop steward elves

Funny walks and squeaky pens

Reindeer health and safety

Snowball fights

International news flashes

People falling over (deliberately and by accident)

Delta Blues and Rap and the coolest Elves you've EVER seen this side of the North Pole.

These are just a few of the things that have me rolling about when I should be being dispassionate and making Director-y notes.  Actually, I'm rarely dispassionate.  And there's no chance whatsoever of being so with this show.


These two are so energetic that if we could hook them up to the Grid we'd have a whole new way to power the lights in Glasgow

I love Christmas shows.  I love that there is comedy and heartfelt emotion side by side.  I love that the audience that comes to see it are not a 'theatre' audience.  I love that they know, or learn, that they have to shout, point, clap and get involved (and in The Christmas Workshop they have to save Christmas).  I love that the actors get to use almost any and all the skills they have in the most random of ways and that the most successful shows aim for fantastically well judged anarchy.  I love a bit of chaos.  I love not knowing what an audience will do.  I love that a Christmas Show works best when every actor keeps bringing you ways of wringing just one more laugh, gasp or moment out of a scene.  But maybe most of all, I love that in the audience for a Christmas show you have children who have never been to the theatre before.  You have a chance to offer them their very first experience of theatre and to become wrapped up into their idea of Christmas forever.  It's a huge privilege.

Sparks The Newest Elf - our Jeremiah.....born to be a Christmas Elf

I love that we have the chance to do this and that everyone has thrown themselves into it.

6 weeks ago we did The Players Hamlet and the idea of a Christmas show was suggested pretty much as we came offstage.

5 weeks ago we had our first meeting - no script, no venue, virtually no budget.  Just a big pile of ideas and a room full of skilled and generous actors who were willing to juggle their existing schedules like there was no tomorrow to make it all happen.

And if I hadn't told you that - you would never know. Because it's a slick and as clever and as funny and as smart and silly as any Christmas show I've ever been too and I'm incredibly proud of everyone who has made it happen. I'm so happy with this show. And I'm genuinely impressed with the way it's been created.

It takes so much good will, intelligence, energy and skill to collaborate well and create a show where only a fraction of the ideas will make it to the stage (and where the goalposts not only keep moving but changing shape).  It takes a special kind of effort. It takes an incredible amount of care - for each other and for the audience - and I think the pay off is to then perform a part knowing that no one else could possible play it because it came straight from you and performing a show, in a venue, to an audience, knowing that moment only exists because you made it all happen.

That's a pretty special thing to do and I am very glad that Ashley Smith, Brian Ferguson, Benn Dunn, Eilidh McCormack, Elaine Stirret, Jen Bates, Jeremiah Reynold, Matthew McVarish, Maite Delafin and Simon Donaldson decided to do it.

This year, my Christmas came early.

I will, as they say, see you on the other side.  I'm off to find my elf hat and flash gun (come and see us you'll find out why). 

If you are coming to the show, remember the entrance to the Glasgow City Free Church is in St Vincent Lane (round the back of the building) AND remember to wear fancy dress.  Yes. Yes. I do mean you.  We'll applaud you for it.

Merry Christmas everyone!