Arts & Culture

West End’s A Play, A Pie and A Pint to hit Scottish television screens this autumn

By Ian Marland at

BBC Scotland is to air six plays from the A Play, A Pie and A Pint series.

The long-running theatre project at the Òran Mór arts venue recently celebrated its 500th production.

Now writers – seasoned and new to TV – have signed up for BBC Scotland’s televisual treatment of the acclaimed programme.

Starting next month, the new BBC Scotland series will show six of the pub lunchtime plays.

It kicks off with Chic Murray: A Funny Place for a Window, written by Stuart Hepburn and starring Dave Anderson, Maureen Carr and Brian James O’Sullivan.

Director

Writer and director Stuart Hepburn

The play is a poignant, but also comic look at the career of renowned comedian Chic Murray.

Writer and director Stuart Hepburn’s credits include Taggart, River City, Katie Morag, and Hamish Macbeth.

Numerous plays he has written include Oscar Slater – The Trial That Shamed a City and The Beaches of St Valery as well as films The James Gang and A Love Divided. He lectures in screenwriting at Stirling University.

He said: “I am delighted to be involved with this project.

‘Immortalised’

“Theatre audiences have loved Chic Murray: A Funny Place for a Window and I think it has the potential to be extended and shown for a longer run in bigger theatre outlets, but theatre is ephemeral, so I think it is terrific that it will be ‘immortalised’ as it were with this recording for BBC Scotland.

“And that people sitting in their own homes across the country will get to see it and enjoy it.

“I’m also delighted by the way that it has been produced.

“It has remained true to its theatre roots but it looks good and has been produced in a fresh contemporary way which will also work for television audiences.”

Actors on a stage

Dave Anderson and Maureen Carr appearing in Chic Murray: A Funny Place for A Window

Other plays lined up for transmission on BBC Scotland include:

· Toy Plastic Chicken. Starring Neshla Caplan, David James Kirkwood and Anna Russell-Martin.

· A Respectable Widow Takes to Vulgarity, starring Anne Kidd and Craig McLean.

· Meat Market, starring Julie Duncanson, Robin Laing and Megan Shandley.

· Ring Road, starring Anita Vettesse and Gavin Jon Wright.

The latest project to be signed up as part of the sextet of plays for BBC Scotland is Crocodile Rock, a new musical by Andy McGregor.

‘I think it has the potential to be extended and shown for a longer run in bigger theatre outlets, but theatre is ephemeral, so I think it is terrific that it will be ‘immortalised’ as it were with this recording for BBC Scotland’

Writer and director Stuart Hepburn

Each play, which are being produced for television by BBC Studios Comedy, will last roughly one hour and are due to start transmitting on the BBC Scotland channel in early September.

Gavin Smith, commissioning executive at BBC Scotland, said: “These six plays are a terrific showcase of contemporary play writing in Scotland and a celebration of our vibrant theatre scene.

“Our hope is this airing of some of the titles from A Play, A Pie, and A Pint will bring in a wider television audience to see and enjoy these fantastic plays, reflecting a theatre experience to viewers across Scotland.

“All six plays will give audiences a really good laugh as well as touching on challenging themes including grief, childlessness and racism that we hope will get audiences thinking as well.”