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I have pleasure in incorporating in my website, the works of two prominent writers, John Watson and the late Joe McDonagh.

John Watson is well known for his tales of old Glasgow published under the collective title, "Once Upon a Time in Glasgow." and his annual Christmas stories in the Glasgow "Evening Times".

Joe McDonagh is remembered as a lover of theatre and as a popular and knowledgeable drama critic for the "Jewish Echo" and the "Glasgow Herald".

All enquiries in respect of scripts or performances should be addressed to me and the advices, terms and conditions as defined in my "Scripts" page apply also to these two writers.

 

John Watson

Joe McDonagh

       
Title
Males
Females
Additional
       
Marilyn
2
3
The Moving Finger Writes
2
2
Not Proven
1
4
Over The Rainbow
2
4
No More Mondays
1
5
The Dangerous Edge
1
5
To Die On Your Feet
2
3
Is Anybody There?
5
A Few Hours Community Service
1
3
1 adult M or F
The Happiest Days of Your Life
4
  Brian's Book
2
1
  The Hotel Game
5
3
  Jake's Little Angel
3
3
1 junior
  The Look-Alike
2
4
  Enrolment Day
3
5
  Gone With The Breeze
3
4
  A Time To Leave
3
2
  A Village Affair
2
3
  Winners and Losers
3
4
  King Of The Castle
4
4
1 v/o
  Southside City Blues
3
5
         
     
   
 

MARILYN: Joe McDonagh

One Act Drama
One Set
2m 3f

Unknown to ROSE, her friend, JEAN enters her for a Marilyn Monroe look-alike competition and is persuaded to embark on a fast and furious life style as a Marilyn Monroe clone. All goes well for a time but she soon becomes the victim of her agent, the ruthless TONY COWAN who exploits her for his own ends. She falls prey to the seamy and unscrupulous side of show business and the play ends in tragedy when Rose is confronted by Marilyn Monroe 'nut', PETER SUTTON who believes she is the Marilyn of his dreams. A very strong play which illustrates objectively the pitfalls and dangers awaiting those who seek fame and fortune in the world of entertainment.

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THE MOVING FINGER WRITES: Joe McDonagh

One Act Comedy Drama
One Set
2m 2f

Set in the author’s home town, Coatbridge, during the austere post war years of the late nineteen forties, the play is a sensitive exploration of a sixteen year old school-boy’s naive but sincere and innocent affection for his music teacher. Fifty years later, the boy, now a successful writer, is invited to his old school as a guest speaker, where he is strangely attracted to a young teacher. A beautifully written piece, sensitive and touching, skilfully combining nostalgia and pathos, creating a number of moving and touching moments of theatre. Undoubtedly this writer’s work at its best.


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NOT PROVEN: Joe McDonagh

One Act Drama
One Set
1m 4f

A Glasgow man charged with the murder of a young girl has been acquitted when the jury returned a verdict of "Not Proven". The girl's friends, dismayed by the verdict and seeking justice decide to hold their own court. They lure the acquitted man to a remote location where they conduct a bizarre trial in their search for the truth. Scotland's unique third option is examined in a gripping and harrowing look at what Sir Walter Scott called "This Bastard Verdict". A clever, well argued piece on a controversial subject.

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OVER THE RAINBOW: Joe McDonagh

One Act Drama
One Set
1m 4f

FIONA and her three friends, LIZ, CATHIE and MARY have been out celebrating on the eve of Fiona's wedding. On returning to Fiona's flat, they are held hostage by gunman, FRANK SKINNER. The police arrive and negotiations take place between Skinner and the police. Liz pleads with the gunman and persuades him to release Fiona, Cathie and Mary. They then form a strange, bizarre relationship as tension increases and builds to an exciting and sinister climax.

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NO MORE MONDAYS: Joe McDonagh

One Act Comedy Drama
One Set
1m 5f

CATHIE, FIONA and MARY, having a farewell drink to mark CATHIE's enforced redundancy are joined by workmate, PAT and ANGELA. As Cathie, Fiona and Mary relate their experiences at the hands of a gunman, TOM BOYD, a young actor, working with a Singing Telegram company and dressed in a Groucho Marx costume, bursts in on them. Tom performs a Marx Brothers sketch and he and Fiona act out a touching scene from "Romeo and Juliet". Comedy and sadness mingle as the evening progresses and Cathie realises that, for her, there will be 'no more Mondays'. A welcome sequel to the successful "Over the Rainbow" by the same author.

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THE DANGEROUS EDGE: Joe McDonagh

One Act Comedy Drama
One Set
1m 5f

This sequel to the author's highly successful play, "No More Mondays", finds FIONA enrolled as a mature Arts student at Glasgow University. There, she joins up with a former, although socially incompatible, acquaintance, ANGELA. Angela is having an affair with her lecherous tutor, Doctor STEVEN PEARSON. Pearson drops Angela for Fiona thus putting at risk the two women's friendship and their academic future. As with the previous works in this cycle, the writer captures the drama and the emotion with his usual skill.

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TO DIE ON YOUR FEET: Joe McDonagh

One Act Drama
One Set
2m 3f

The Spanish Civil War was an ideological battleground for the whole of Europe. EDWARD MORGAN, a young Glasgow man has come to Spain to join the International Brigade of the Spanish Republic in its doomed fight against Franco. He is profoundly affected by his meeting with a Spanish family, cafe owner TERESA VARGAS, her brother, PABLO, and her two daughters, ELENA and CARMEN as the Nationalist forces lay siege to Barcelona in the final days of the war. A profoundly emotional moment in history captured skilfully by the writer. Highly recommended.

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IS ANYBODY THERE?: Joe McDonagh

One Act Comedy
One Set
5f

BERTHA, CLAIRE, DIANA and ESME have all lost their husbands in a boating accident. now, some time later, anxious to make contact with them on 'the other side', they call upon the services of MISS AUGUSTINA, an eccentric medium. Each man had led a somewhat philandering life but one mistress had always been retained and the widows are anxious to learn her identity. Miss Augustina bridges the paranormal divide, with surprising results.

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A FEW HOURS COMMUNITY SERVICE: Joe McDonagh

One Act Play for Youth
One Set
1m 3f + 1 adult m or f

Teenage boredom combined with the horrific effects of drug-taking are examined in this fine piece of work written by the author of the award winning and highly successful "We're No Angels" Keenly observed, at times amusing and essentially uncompromising, the play illustrates graphically the dire consequences of teenagers dabbling in drugs. This play is especially recommended to schools, youth and community groups.

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THE HAPPIEST DAYS OF YOUR LIFE: Joe McDonagh

One Act Drama for Youth
One Set
4f

EMMA is a quiet, studious fourteen year old schoolgirl faced with a daily onslaught of verbal and physical bullying from the strong-minded and cruel JESS. Aided by her weak-willed pal, SARAH, Jess forces Emma to carry our homework assignments for them. On top of this they attempt to frighten Emma into stealing money from her home. Emma’s friend, KARRIE, thinking the bullying is a little more than playground teasing, is appalled to learn how badly Emma is being treated. her defence of her friend comes too late to save Emma being driven to the edge of black despair. The play’s tragic conclusion emphasises the dangers of the malaise ever present within the school environment.

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BRIAN'S BOOK: John Watson

One Act Drama
One Set
2m 1f

A man, sitting on a park bench reading a book is approached by a second man who initiates a bewildering series of conversation changes during which the former is forced to examine and explain his attitude on matters as diverse and personal as religion, human relationships and sexual preferences. The questions and the answers range from the merely annoying to the amusing, the amazing, and finally, the terrifying. A baffling and bizarre finale sees flight and confusion for one, victory and conquest for the other. A gripping and emotive play.

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THE HOTEL GAME: John Watson and Joe McDonagh

One Act Comedy
One Set
5m 3f

ROBIN THOMSON arrives in Glasgow seeking fame and fortune. Bent on a career as a hotelier he takes a menial job in a hotel but is soon mistaken for a spy from Head Office. He then finds himself in the middle of an involved muddle and a complex plot by senior hotel staff to cream off the profits. With the help of JENNY, the receptionist, and BRIAN, the porter, he embarks on an adventurous and hilarious scheme to unmask the fraudsters. An extremely entertaining piece.

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JAKE'S LITTLE ANGEL: John Watson

One Act Comedy
Composite Set
3m 3f + 1 junior

It is Christmas day and JAKE McKINLEY, a hopeless alcoholic, greets the new day by waking up lying on a snow covered gravestone in the Necropolis. Tormented by WULLIE a drunken Santa Claus and sent packing by a well meaning POLICEWOMAN, Jake is reduced to begging drink from fellow alcoholics, TAM and NELLIE whose refusal to share their good fortune results in bad feelings all round. In a day rich in rejection and scorn, but not without humour, it is left to a child to show the compassion due to all God’s creatures on Christmas day. A moving, soul-searching play.

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THE LOOK-ALIKE: John Watson

One Act Comedy
One Set
2m 4f

The Southside Drama Group gather for a rehearsal of ANDRA ROBERTSON's sensational new play wherein he reveals the true story of the life and tragic death of Scotland's secret daughter, Marilyn Monroe. The cast is assembled, Andra has just completed his latest changes in the script and all he lacks is someone to play Marilyn's mum. Then MRS MOODIE appears. And if Andra thought that his Marilyn Monroe look-alike was troublesome what would he think of Mrs Moodie who not only has her own opinions but was not afraid to voice them. But even worse than that - she actually appeared to know what she was talking about - which really couldn't be said about the rest of the cast. "Problems?" says WENDY. "What else is there?" says Andra. A truly funny play enhanced by clever and imaginative characterisation. Modern Scottish comedy at its rollicking best.

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ENROLMENT DAY: John Watson

One Act Comedy
One Set
3m 5f

One by one the Southside Players appear, pay (or don’t pay) their enrolment fee and sign themselves up for another season of theatrical adventures under the guiding genius of ANDRA ROBERTSON. To Andra’s delight a new face appears amongst the old: QUENTIN DALGLEISH, a rich estate agent who is not only an aspiring thespian but an aspiring playwright, what like Andra is. Suddenly, Andra is giddy from the sweet smell of money. Every silver lining, however, has a cloud, and Andra’s personal cloud appears in the shape of MRS MOODIE, debunker and destroyer of his most recent attempt at literary greatness: “Marilyn - Scotland’s Secret Daughter” If enrolment day is anything to go by then it would seem that the Southside Players are in for a more than usually bumpy season.

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GONE WITH THE BREEZE: John Watson

One Act Comedy
One Set
3m 4f

Another hilarious romp by the Southside Players. Once more UPHIE, SHUG, WENDY and SARA, set off into the theatrical unknown, inspired, cajoled, threatened and bribed (could he but afford it) by their charismatic leader, ANDRA ROBERTSON. Their task is simple: portray on stage a history of Glasgow, from sleepy village to bustling metropolis, from industrial giant to tourist trap, from the engine room of the Empire to the drawing room of Europe. An impossible task? For sensible people, certainly, but we're talking about the Southside Players.

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A TIME TO LEAVE: John Watson

One Act Drama
One Set
3m 2f

This touching and moving play centres around the dilemma of pensioner and widower, TAM BIRNIE. Tam is one of the old school, stubborn and proud. The building he lives in has been condemned and all his neighbours have been rehoused. But Tam, living on his own, refuses to move. He is under constant pressure from the local council, his daughter, CATHIE, young JENNY, who runs his errands, and local policeman, MICHAEL REID. He is also under threat from vandals. Only when Jenny is injured in a road accident and the vandalism becomes life threatening does Tam realise that he has a duty and a responsibility to others and Cathie is able to overcome his obstinacy. A finely observed portrayal of a difficult and real social problem.

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A VILLAGE AFFAIR: John Watson

One Act Comedy
One Set
2m 3f

Organising a play-writing competition to promote interest in the village seemed like a good idea. Picking a winner is something else. BARBARA fancies the chairman, RAYMOND. Glamorous HANNAH is unattached. All-seeing, all-knowing. DOUGLAS is a retired theatre critic. DONNA, recently married, is having an affair with Douglas. And there's McDONNA lurking about back stage, causing no end of mischief, Before the evening is over a few lies will be told, a few home truths revealed, nerves will be stretched and feathers ruffled. And, of course, a winning play will be chosen. But which one? Witty and amusing, this comedy calls for skilled playing by everyone involved. But that's just the author's opinion.

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WINNERS AND LOSERS: John Watson

One Act Comedy
Split Set
3m 4f

JACK is in love with JILL. Jill loves Jack. Jill's father MR HILL, hates Jack because he is an unemployed Wedding Cake Decorator. Jill's sister, LIL, is given to shoplifting. PHIL, a Junior Assistant Bank Manager has a habit of taking samples home with him He'd like to be Jill's new boyfriend. MRS HILL...well, perhaps we shouldn't say too much about HER. Sorry for Jack? Don't be. He may not be everybody's favourite in the Hill household but it's amazing how attitudes can change simply by someone, even Jack, winning the National Lottery. Or has he?

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KING OF THE CASTLE: John Watson

A Comedy in Two Acts
Three Sets
4m 4f + 1v/o

Writer, PHIL KEDDIE had always wanted to own a castle. Now, thanks to the National Trust for Scotland, he has one. True, it was a ruin, and true, it was going to take time and money to renovate. But while Phil is delighted, his agent, MYRON CAPLAN is dismayed. Phil sets off to his castle leaving Myron to sell his latest novel. Months later, Myron arrives at the castle with the news that Hollywood wants to turn the novel into a movie block-buster. That's the good news. The bad news is that Myron is accompanied by Phil's ex-wife VIVIEN who wants to play a part in the movie. If this isn't bad enough, Phil's other ex-wife GLORIA also arrives at the castle. The subsequent arrival of two Hollywood hotshots threatens to be the last straw especially as the two hotshots are not all they appear to be. CLINGFEATHER is a crook, that's for sure. TINA is gorgeous, that's also for sure. But what about her mysterious Scottish ancestors? And what about her strange birthmark? And what about DOUGAL McTOORIE's dire predictions? And what about Dougal McToorie?

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SOUTHSIDE CITY BLUES: John Watson

A Comedy in Two Acts
One Set
3m 5f

The complete, concise, and not to say catastrophic history of ANDRA ROBERTSON’s Southside Players Drama Group told in every grim and gory detail. With a cast ranging from Hollywood’s Marilyn Monroe to Glasgow’s very own Saint Mungo the scene is set for a modern Scottish comedy full of confusion, fun and farce with the occasional explosion of artistic and temperamental tantrum that we all know and love. A cast of colourful characters include QUENTIN, estate agent, mummy’s boy, and would-be playwright; actress UPHIE, tough, tarty and temperamental. SHUGIE, an actor who has seen better days (although nobody remembers them) and of course the inimitable Andra himself, ducking and diving throughout. A heady mixture that sends out a terrible warning to any aspiring playwright or thespian.

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