SCABARET was a 3 hour show of “punk variety”, staged at Cumbernauld Theatre,  with no intervals, that I organised and produced, where we gave any nutter that wanted a slot, some 5-10 minutes stage-time, and help, backing, music, or whatever
It was my answer to the Gong Show format which seemed to really delight in failure, and wanted people to get booed off or gonged-off – that pissed me off
Scabaret encouraged people to have a go, do the best you can
“Perfection is for fools and idoits” was my motto
And boy, did we have some amazing nights, with astonishing acts
It was brilliant fun, and produced some real class acts too
BING HITLER (Craig Ferguson)
HUE & CRY (As a duo, and of their first appearances under that name – their soundcheck that afternoon stopped the whole place in their trax)
DEMONICA (Strongwoman and fire eater)
NORRIE SMART (Poet of the Cooper Clarke school)
and a plethora of assorted NUTTERS … and my own first, faltering attempts at comedy, poems, and compering – Who knew where that would eventually lead, eh?


Many years back, 1986 to be precise, I watched a particularly arty-farty piece of dramatic self-indulgence at Cumbernauld Theatre one night, and was a bit vocal in my criticism of its’ script, in the theatre bar after the show

When asked, in a challenging manner, if I “could do any better” as it was easy to criticise, I boldly claimed that I’d written better myself.

The director of Cumbernauld Theatre overheard the argument and offered me a weekend slot in the theatre’s programme which had just become vacant … effectively calling my bluff!!

I said .. “Ok, I’ll do it!” … they asked what the play was called … I boldly replied “BALLS” … the first thing that came into my head

Oh shit!!!!

I then had, as far as I remember, some 12 weeks to write it, get a cast, rehearse, do posters, costumes and a stage-set

Gathering together a line-up of my mates … all but one had never acted before … we worked our arses off, and much to our surprise had great fun, damn good audiences, and a rather positive approval on the night … ie big laughs and no complaints … and were even asked to do a second run of the play

That experience was quite seminal in my own new attitude as a fledgling writer who was entering a bigger arena, than just doing songs and funny wee bits at Scabaret gigs

The cast were magnificent in their dedication, humour, and inventiveness, and I wrote & rewrote the script as we rehearsed it … changing it to suit individual strengths and talents, which were a totally unknown entity when we first started

Craig (Bracko) Brackenridge, Trisha Barjonas, Aln McNiven, Chris Hendry, Jimmy Jazz, Jim Dorman, Maggi, and the inimitable Malcolm McIlraith, all made it a brilliant experience and one I dearly cherish in the auld memory-banks … and much inspiration was also supplied by local artist/writer Brian Miller, who started my acting “career” in his own, fine, home-grown productions

Huge thanx to them all

And, in particular to Malcolm, who passed away while in Nepal in 2007, whilst working as a guide on the lower slopes of Everest, at the fine auld age of only 69 years old … a fine example of going out in style, and undoubtedly one of the nicest, friendliest, most inspiring friends I’ve ever had the pleasure to know


Stephen Fry on The Catholic Church

The Intelligence² Debate – Stephen Fry (Unedited)

My respect for Mr  Fry knows no bounds, as I love his writing, his comedy,  his documentaries, and QI is undoubtedly the funniest of all those fukkin awful celebrity quizzes that TV has been infected with of late

This, however, puts him in a different category altogether … a truly fine human being

This debate on whether the Catholic Church is a force for good is astonishing in many senses … Christopher Hitchens attacks like a bulldog and enumerates a litany of the church’s outrageous crimes from the past up to the present, in a highly vociferous, but highly  unentertaining, manner

Archbishop Nicebutdim is an embarrassment in an intellectual debate of this weight … Who the fukk chose him?

Ann Widdecombe leaves me speechless in astonishment … I’ve never been a fan of the MP’s we have in this country, but this woman’s level of inarticulate, hysterical blather makes me cringe to think that she actually held a Cabinet position at one time … a fukkin moron!!

Her own argument is illogical, innacurate, and avoids all the major issues posed

Watch the whole debate if you’ve got time … or simply marvel at the eloquence, passion, and restraint of a highly moral man … Stephen Fry

I’ve never ever voted or fancied trying gay sex, but if I did, Fry would be in with a chance … on both counts



Archbishop Nicebutdim