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


One thought on “BALLS

  1. Hellfire!! 1986?? That was a great show, I thoroughly enjoyed it. The whole experience was a great laugh from beginning t’end. Didn’t we do a bit of it on Radio Clyde? It was one in the eye for pretentious theatre ponces.

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