Hey everyone On Tuesday afternoon a theatre group i follow on twitter posted a tweet. Nothing unusual in that, you’re thinking especially when you have a show to promote. After all tweeting is the essential purpose of twitter. This tweet however was slightly different from most others , as it contained a special message for the group’s followers.
As they were only one follower away from reaching the 900 mark the group decided that their 900th follower would receive two free tickets for the show. Being the cheeky wee madam i am, I jokingly replied to the tweet saying that it looked like I had followed them just a bit too early and expected to hear no more of it except perhaps a tongue in check reply. So you can imagine both my surprise and delight when just a few minutes later i received a replay saying since their 900th followers was in France the tickets were mine if i wanted them. Naturally i jumped at the chance and accepted an offer i couldn’t refuse. Well as the song says , I’m just a girl who can’t say no especially to a night at the theatre .
As I made my way to Webster’s Theatre which is just across the road from Kelvinbridge Subway I went not knowing what to except as I had never seen the Graduettes before but believe me I wasn’t disappointed. This was a fast rip roaring girlie comedy from curtain up to final bow. When I say fantastic was an understatement I am not joking in fact to use a phrase from former Celtic manager Martin O’Neill this was astonishingly brilliant.
The play starts with Rachel played by Rachel Wylde and Sophie (Jennifer McErlain) coming home from a Christmas eve night out to find to a dead body in the flat. The dead body belongs to their downstairs neighbour and landlady Naturally the girls are confused as to how this could possibly happen on Christmas Eve though to give Sophie her due credit she was far more concerned about her forthcoming Christmas dinner and meeting her boyfriend Andy’s mother as she had to convince her that she is suitable girlfriend material for her son.
Sophie realises that this will not be an easy task especially as Rachel points out that Sophie hasn’t told her potential mother in law that she is both pregnant and a protestant
In a state of shock, Rachel asks if Sophie if she had left the door open. as she considers this an invitation to rapists and murderers. Sophie who lives in a world of her own then informs a criminologist with cancer who is undergoing chemotherapy treatment that she is too ugly to rape to which Rachel replies I may be ugly but at least I’m aware.
Logically the next step for the girls was to turn their home in to a crime scene on Christmas day. Well that’s what happens in the West End of Glasgow when you can’t agree who the killer was in that game of cluedo you’ve just finished. The only thing was this was Christmas morning and the flatmates had dumped the dead body in the spare room on Christmas Eve. I could see the reason for this well if we take a trip to Sophie’s world dead bodies in the living room could put people off their Christmas dinner and as she had already explained nothing could stand in the way of her Christmas dinner. Nothing that is except the arrival of their friend Grace.
Full of the joys of the season Grace (Heather Haddow) arrives from Planet Christmas and despite seeing the crime scene, I think, reminds everyone to be happy as it’s the baby Jesus birthday. As Rachel and Sophie try to bring her back to reality at least on a temporary basis Grace informs her friends that she may have a scandal of her own and that she may be hashtag lesbian as her boyfriend did a certain something with her and she liked it. To say that Rachel and Sophie were confused would I think be putting it mildly though they did try to explain that you can’t be a lesbian unless there was another woman in the room.
Now it was Grace who was confused but Rachel and Sophie had other things on their mind. For Rachel the community criminologist it was solving the crime and for Sophie it was the Christmas dinner and trying to make a good impression on Andy’s mum to prove she was despite her pregnancy good girlfriend or even future wife material for her son.
At this point Jonny who was Rachel’s ex comes to the door and invites himself in. This despite Rachel and Sophie’s desperate attempts to tell him to leave. As they explain the situation, they try to banish Jonny from the flat and tell him he’s not allowed in. This leaves Jonny feeling bewildered and just as he’s about to leave Andy the love of Sophie’s life comes to the door. With the girls busy doing Christmas things Jonny and Andy look at the crime scene and using there brilliant powers of deduction concluded in typical Taggart style that there’s been a murder.
Desparate for clues as to who could have committed the murder the girls ask Andy if it’s true the Andy’s mum is the priest killer as Grace informed them that the last three priests at their local parish had met an early end. Andy said the first one was an accident and the others had never been proved.
At this point Johny is evicted by an irrate Rachel who tells Andy to go and run round the bloc or something. Confused, Andy leaves the flat and let’s the girls get on with doing what they were doing. For Rachel this was looking for clues to find the murderer and for Sophie it was getting on with preparation for the Christmas dinner because though her neighbour and landlady had just been killed nothing could get in the way of the Christmas Dinner.
By now Rachel the voice of reason and did I mention she was the community criminalolgist having studied criminology at Uni had managed to get herself a gun from the drunk woman downstairs. Well she was in the local gun club or so she said. Not to be outdone Sophie had kidnapped or to use her word borrowed a baby from the drunk women downstairs. Sophie then smeared the baby’s face in peanut butter to make the baby look Mexican as this would please Andy’s mum because Mexicians were Catholic. How in the name of God, Martin O’Neill or Henrik Larsson smearing the baby’s face would it make it look Mexican I don’t know and neither did Rachel and Grace but this is Sophie’s world and they just had to deal with it.
By now Andy had arrived back in the flat and was looking a wee bit on the sweaty side due to the fact he didn’t know what a bloc was and had in his words ran round in circles a few times. The arrival of Jonny threw things in to even greater confussion.
By this time Andy had noticed that Sophie had a baby and being a typical bloke and if their baby had arrived early to which an angry and tear filled Sophie informed him she was only three months pregnant. With all the madness going on around her Grace said a prayer and appologised to god for her lesbian thoughts and the madness of a west end twenty something girlie christmas was only halted by the arrival of what appeared to the police in the guise of the dead women’s nephew.
At first our would be Taggart asked those in the flat a few searching questions and this line of enquiry seemed to progressing well especially when Rachel our caring community criminologist made the shocking revelation that she had close circuit TV installed in the flat. As everyone gathered round to watch the footage, all the girls wanted to speed it up to ignore clips which may show the indescreditions though it did prove that Grace wasn’t a lesbian or ar least so we thought, well as Sophie says you can’t be a lesbian unless there is another woman in the room but then there was another woman in the room and it turned out to be Rachel. Anyway whilst one mystery may have been solved but another remained who killed Mrs Nesbitt?
As it turns out it was her nephew. Yes that’s right the so-called policeman except he wasn’t a policeman he was an actor disguised as a policeman and his aunt had always derided his choice of career. Europhic our policeman stripped to the bare to which Sophie said told you he was a stripogram. Just at that point the door goes and it’s Andy mum who has come round for Christmas Dinner and with the murder solved and everyone happy the cast took a very well deserved final bow.
You know I hadn’t planned go anywhere on Tuesday night but I’m so glad I did. This was a giggle feast from start to finish. There was a refreshing lack of political correctness in a show which was brilliantly written and directed by Sean Wilkie. The casting was superb and when this heads to the Edinburgh Fringe it deserves to play to capacity crowds for every performance. In over 30 years of going to the theatre it is fair to say I have seen my fair number of shows but I’ve seldom if ever seen a better one and anyone who gives this less than a five star review knows far less than they should do about comedy, theate, or culture. Honestly, this is must see show and whilst tonight finishes its Glasgow run this post has been written with Edinburgh very much in mind.
As I spoke to the cast members after the show I congratulated them on a fantastic performance and promised them I would write this post to help promote the show. In fact I told one of them I think it was Heather,that I hadn’t laughed so much in a very long time. What I didn’t them was that my headline would sum it up in a way we woman understand and that headline would be Oops moments happen at a five star show on a night with the graduette girls.