Hey Readers On Saturday night I went to the Dram, yes you did read that right I did say to the Dram and not for a Dram. You see the Dram in question is a pub in Woodlands Road in the west end of Glasgow and the reason for my attendance at this cracking wee venue was to see the latest adventures of the Graduettes.
Yes the girls who put the C in to comedy and the M in to madness were back with another fun filled hour of comic capers and I for one eagerly looked forward to finding out what was happening in the world of Rachel, Sophie, and Grace. Well having solved a Christmas murder faster than Columbo or Taggart ever could, discovered that Sophie was pregnant and that Grace wasn’t actually hashtag lesbian I wondered what they could possibly get up to this time, and trust me I wasn’t disappointed as I went on a journey to gigglesville which was faster and more chaotic than the Waltzers at the Glasgow carnival.
Our story starts in a hospital waiting room with a pregnant and overdue Sophie pacing up and down wondering when finally her baby which is now later than a postcard from Pluto which rumour has it is Grace’s favourite holiday destination will actually arrive. Fuming, she sees Rachel and wants to know what she’s doing in the hospital as the world awaits at arrival of her baby which in case you weren’t aware was the most important baby to be born since that wean in the stable, you know Jesus and all she wanted now was to end her pain.
At this Rachel informs a friend who shouldn’t really need reminding that this is the day when she is to undergo life threatening surgery for her cancer which is no longer in remission and has made an unwelcome return. This has prompted her in to thinking of all the things on her bucket list which she may never be able to do like get married, enjoy wedding night sex, or adopt a mixed race baby.
Well even Rachel who is by a mile the sanest of the girls has the odd Madonna moment. Sophie however is furious that the doctors have chosen what should be her big day to give her friend what could potentially be life endangering surgery.
A bemused Rachel is left bewildered as Sophie claims it’s all about her and her confusion is about to get a whole lot worse as her ex, Johnny comes over for a chat. Still rhyming off her bucket list and trying to decide who gets her Harry Potter collection Rachel makes the fatal mistake of telling Johnny that her life endangering surgery may mean she’ll never get married or have wedding night sex. Sensing the opportunity for a bit of action Johnny proposes to her on the grounds that he will give her what he refers to as a wedding night pump. Rachel however informs him that there could be a slight problem with this as they are not together.
This however does not appear to dampen Johnny’s enthusiasm for the idea and reluctantly and against her better judgement Rachel agrees to go through with it but this is when the confusion really begins as the wedding has happen before Rachel undergoes her life endangering surgery and it has to take place in a hospital which is as I’m sure you’ll agree hardly the ideal venue for a wedding. This is especially true since the pregnant chief bridesmaid is about to give birth
though she is still struggling to get the baby out.
Needless to say this is causing Sophie great distress. So desperate to get the child safely delivered the mum to be approaches a woman she believes to be a doctor for some advice on the matter. The woman who I think was supposed to be of Russian or Polish origin told Sophie to whom she kept referring to as tiny lady that she was a nurse not a doctor. When Sophie asked what the difference was, the nurse said we work longer and get paid less Having been reassured by the fact that she was still in the medical profession Sophie asked the nurse if she knew of a quick way to speed up the baby’s arrival and was shall we say more than slightly shocked when the nurse thought of trying sex. Once she got over the shock of being asked such a personal question Sophie said yes of course she had tried sex and that’s what got her pregnant. The nurse awoke both Sophie and her hormones by saying sex puts the baby in and sex pushes the baby out. Needless to say this surprises our expectant mum to be but Sophie being Sophie is willing to give it a go. Now all she has to do is explain this shock tactic to her boyfriend Andy.
As if there wasn’t enough chaos in a panic stricken hospital the arrival of Grace succeeds in increasing this still further. On being told of Rachel’s impending wedding the bold Grace informs the terminally ill bride to be that she can legally conduct the wedding This is of course if she can take her eyes off the new French surgeon Doctor Handsome Face for whom she has developed an instant case of the hots.
As Grace attempts to spoon the Doctor or at least get extra French lessons, and a lonely lovestruck nurse tries her luck on Tinder, Sophie is getting so anxious that not only has she taken the nurse’s advice but in her attempt to find Rachel a wedding dress she found herself a police women’s uniform in the hospital’s lost and found box and she appears to have not only to have temporarily arrested her own senses she has also damaged her boyfriend’s wee man. Yes, that is a Glasgow euphemism for penis.
This means as well as having to deal with Rachel’s impending life threatening surgery, not to mention Sophie’s imminent arrival it now had to find Andy a hospital bed to get his manhood sorted. I think you could say this hospital is having one of busier days. Meanwhile Grace tries to reassure Rachel who describes her religion as half Protestant and half griffindore that she will not be judgemental about her friend’s decision and more importantly that she is legally entitled to conduct a marriage ceremony though Rachel has doubts about both the potential legality of marriage and the sanity of her friend.
As the time for Rachel’s surgery grows ever closer Grace and Johnny disguise themselves as doctors Johnny to be close to Rachel in her hour of need and Grace, to in her attempt to spoon Doctor Handsome Face. This causes all sorts of problems for everyone concerned and far from
thinking Grace may have amorous intentions towards him Doctor Handsome Face mistakenly believes that it is Johnny who attracted to him. Meanwhile to add to the general madness and confusion of an already dramatic day, the nurse now believes that Sophie may be romantically inclined towards her and and Andy is still worried about his wee man.
The nurse however says that Andy has a big wee man and totally unfazed Sophie checks on her crown jewels and says that’s nothing you should see it on his good days.
As she is now in Labour Sophie wants anything she can get to dull the pain of childbirth, and it doesn’t matter to her if it’s gas and air, an epidural, or crack cocaine. Personally I would have went for any speech by a unionist politician and there so dull they could send you to sleep for a million years without any anesthetic. The only problem with idea is that I think Sophie would to want waken up again and see her new baby.
As mayhem threatens to ensure Rachel marries Johnny or at least she thinks she does and so worried is she by this moment of what can only be described as temporary insanity that she makes Sophie promise that if she ever makes out of this surgery that she will help her get her marriage annulled.
By now everything has descended in to chaos but all ends well as Rachel is eventually brought back from her surgery, dazed, and confused as to what has gone on but still in the land of the living. Much to her relief Grace informs her that though she has married Johnny the marriage wasn’t technically legal and Rachel breathes a huge sigh of relief. Just as she is struggling take in her good news, Sophie who is now finally a mother introduces her best friend to her new god daughter and all is well in the world of the graduette girls.
As I think you can probably tell I loved this show as to me it shows everything which really makes female friendship what it is. Yes we have our moments as play and it’s predecessor highlighted but when it really matters we are there to support each other in a way men seldom if ever do. Though very much a giggle fest this play had moments of tenderness and pathos as it dealt with themes which are common to all of us even if not all of us will admit to talking about them such as love, lust, loneliness, and death not forgetting sex relationships, and gender pay gap.
To me the secret of good comedy drama is reflecting our social reality in a way that makes us laugh at our shortcomings without needing to work too hard for the laughter. This is something that Sean Wilkie the writer of the Graduettes understands all too clearly, and by casting Rachel Wlyde as Rachel Jennifer McErlane as Sophie and Ashley Storrie as Grace he has created some of the most believable characters in Scottish comedy. Ably supported by an excellent supported by a very talented supporting cast he has I think created a show which I believe can run for as many years as the cast want to be part of it and he wants to write it.
Personally I hope this wonderful show goes on for many years and has a lot more episodes with which to entertain a rapidly expanding fan base and I said as much when I chatted to members of the cast after the show especially Ashley Storrie and Jennifer McErlane .
I think the cast were pleased with my comments and believe me they have reason to be. You see it was a cold night on Saturday, and the weather had more in common with the bleak mid winter than coming of Easter or the arrival of British summer time. However, I had made a promise to both Sean and more importantly Jennifer that I would be there come hell or high water and I was determined to honour that promise. So despite Arctic temperatures that would have frozen your average polar bear I put on my Saturday best and headed to the west end for this hour of comic madness. As I went to my seat in what was a very small and intimate venue the prospect of meeting frosty the snowman on my journey back to Baillieston just didn’t seem to matter. All I was concerned about was taking my place in the audience and being transported on a journey to gigglesville. Believe me I wasn’t disappointed, and when I say this was a fabulous show I think I’m guilty of under selling just how good it was. You know I said to as many people as would listen that if they only attended one show at this year’s comedy festival they had to make it this one. Trust me it was a very good call as yet again the graduette girls shone like stats and proved to the world they have first class honours in comedy.
Love And Best Wishes