Alan Bissett

Playwright, novelist, performer, bletherer.


Moira in Lockdown: the reviews are IN!

Well! There was me worried about my new Edinburgh Fringe show, Moira in Lockdown, being the disappointing third chapter of what is now the Moira Trilogy. BUT! The reviews for it have come out and, fortunately, they are EXCELLENT! Whoop!

“Moira’s back-to-the-wall willingness to take on all-comers is the constant powerhouse of Alan Bissett’s humour.” – 5*****Broadway Baby

“Heart-stoppingly funny, and heart-warming, Alan Bissett has created nothing less than an hour of storytelling perfection.” 5***** The QR

“Hugely entertaining and strangely moving.” 4**** – Joyce McMillan, The Scotsman

“Bissett’s skill as a writer-performer with Moira has always been to take a potentially one-note character and add new dimensions to her, without ever intruding upon his vicious one-liners. For his 2022 show, he excels at Moira’s lived experience universal while keeping her edge.” – 4**** The List

“Keenly felt, dryly observed and hysterically funny.” – 4****British Theatre Guide

Well, that’s a relief! Moira in Lockdown is running at the Scottish Storytelling Centre til 23rd August, at 6.30pm. Tickets available here.


Moira in Lockdown: tickets onsale now!

She’s back, folks. After the success of the first two episodes of my ‘one-woman show’, The Moira Monologues (2009) its sequel, More Moira Monologues (2017), Falkirk’s hardest woman returns in a brand-new play coming to the Edinburgh Fringe: Moira in Lockdown!

The show runs from 3rd-23rd August (except 11th, 15th, 17th, 19th, 22nd) at the Scottish Storytelling Centre on the Royal Mile at 6.30pm (1hr). You can book tickets here.

In this new installment, Moira faces her toughest challenge yet: surviving a pandemic with only vodka, fags and her BFF Babs on Zoom. Take that, Bear Grylls!

Journey through the highs and lows of lockdown with myself, writer-performer Alan Bissett, returning as Moira as she lusts after Joe Wickes, rages at Cummings and grows her own weed (might as well, seeing as the f**kin world’s ending, eh Babs?). She’s ‘the most charismatic character to appear on a Scottish stage in a decade’ ★★★★★ (The Scotsman) and this time she canny even leave the hoose! Directed by Sacha Kyle.

If you want to get up to speed on the Moira story so far, there are a few ways to do so:

The scripts for The Moira Monologues and More Moira Monologues are available to buy in one volume here.

You can watch me performing The Moira Monologues live at Falkirk Town Hall in 2010 here.

You can see both Moira Monologues shows in person in the Hopeville Social Club in Inverurie on Sat July 2nd and in The Three Churches pub in Lochwinnoch on Fri July 22nd (07540420798 to reserve tickets)

“Yaaaaas, Babs! Let’s see how pished we can get afore lunchtime!”

x


Moira in Lockdown: new show coming in August

https://www.scotsman.com/arts-and-culture/theatre-and-stage/edinburgh-fringe-falkirks-hardest-granny-returns-to-make-it-a-festival-hat-trick-3667688

Falkirk’s hardest granny returns to make it a Festival hat-trick

Falkirk’s hardest granny, Moira Bell, is heading back to the Fringe, guaranteeing more hilarity as she relives surviving the pandemic with only vodka, fags and her BFF Babs on Zoom to keep her going.

Alan Bissett’s comic creation returns to the Festival following her 2009 debut The Moira Monologues, which was followed by the Fringe First winning sequel, More Moira Monologues.

In Moira In Lockdown, the third play of the trilogy, Falkirk’s hardest woman faces her toughest challenge yet, the pandemic, as she journeys through the highs and lows of lockdown with writer/performer Alan Bissett returning the role once described as “the most charismatic character to appear on a Scottish stage in a decade” as she lusts after Joe Wickes, rages at Cummings, and grows her own weed.

“I am hugely excited to be reuniting with director Sacha Kyle to bring back a character that audiences have taken to their hearts so much over the years. The previous two Moira Monologues were an absolute joy to perform – it always is when you’re being a character who says the unsayable – but I needed a good reason to bring Moira back, rather than just doing so for the sake of it,” says Bissett, himself from Falkirk and author of the novels Boyracers, Death of a Ladies’ Man and Pack Men.

He continues, “Reflecting on the bizarre experience the world has had for the last two years, through the particular Scottish, working-class voice of Moira Bell, seems like the only justifiable reason. Once I’d made that decision, I really had to think about what Moira’s lockdown experience would’ve been: the extent to which it was similar to my own and the ways in which it wildly diverged.”

Moira In Lockdown will run at the Scottish Storytelling Centre on the High Street from August 3-23 (not 11, 15, 17, 19, 22), at 6.30pm and lasts one hour, with tickets going on sale on June 9.

Daniel Abercrombie, programme and events manager, at the Centre, says, “We are delighted that the Moira Monologues will be returning to The Scottish Storytelling Centre this festival season as part of our biggest Fringe programme to date.

“In Scotland’s Year of Stories what better way to delve into the depths of lockdown than through the exhilarating exploits of Falkirk’s hardest granny Moira.”

Bissett adds, “I can only hope I do justice to the previous two shows, in what will be the third and final part of what is now the Moira trilogy. I mean, nobody wants The Godfather Part III, do they? Hopefully that sense of responsibility to the character, and expectation from the audience, will provide for a unique Fringe experience come August and bring Moira’s story to a satisfying end.”

Bissett’s other plays include Turbo Folk and the writer, who won the Glenfiddich Scottish Writer of the Year in 2011, has also written several episodes of BBC Scotland’s long-running drama River City. He is currently working on his first novel for over ten years, The Coven and the Drowners.


Moira is back in 2022!

Well, it has been a while since my rip-roaring ‘one-woman shows’ The Moira Monologues and its award-winning sequel, More Moira Monologues. Pre-pandemic, in fact. But it’s time to slip back into Moira’s high-heeled boots for some upcoming performances of the hardest woman in Falkirk.

Fri 4th Feb (7.30pm) – Lochwinnoch Golf Club. The Moira Monologues. Tickets here.

Sat 12th Mar (7pm) – Dunoon Burgh Hall. The Moira Monologues + More Moira Monologues + Alan Bissett’s Hoose Perty. So, folks, you’re getting a double bill of BOTH Moira shows PLUS a club night afterwards DJ-ed by me! Tickets here.

Fri 18th Mar (7pm) – Lochwinnoch Golf Club. More Moira Monologues. Tickets here.

See yese there, Babs! x


Welcome to 2022!

Happy new year, folks, and welcome to the year we – finally? – see an end to the Pandemic!

I’m still working on my new novel ABOUT WITCHES! But in the meantime, here are some ways you can catch up with what I’m upto early this year:

Fri Jan 14th (9pm) – Alan Bissett’s Hoose Perty. Given Omicron / folk isolating again / nobody going out in January anyway / everybody being skint and a bit down, I thought I’d bring back my Hoose Perty on Zoom for your hip-shaking, foot-tapping enjoyment. For anybody who hasn’t been, the premise is simple:Get a wee bit dressed up, and maybe some disco lights on in your room.Log onto Zoom using the link below.I will play THE BEST upbeat grooves from across the decades and genres – Bowie to Beyonce, Prince to Primal Scream – and then we all just…dance. Zoom link here if you wanna pop in between 9pm-1am: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83193287140

Sat 22nd Jan (11am) – A Hebridean Happening For John McGrath. This is an free online panel discussion of the legacy of John McGrath’s play Random Happenings in the Hebrides, featuring myself and Lewis-based actor John Stahl (Game of Thrones, High Road), Dolina Maclennan (singer, actor, writer, broadcaster and former 7:84 cast member), Scotsman theatre critic Joyce McMillan, and director Laura Cameron-Lewis – as well as recreating a few scenes from the play.

Feb 24thBella Caledonia: An Anthology. Some of you more independence-inclined folks out there may recall a poem I wrote (TEN YEARS AGO!!!) which went viral on Youtube, called Vote Britain, in which I rather mocked ‘Our Precious Union’. Well, it is being published by Leamington Books in an anthology of writings from the pro-independence website Bella Caledonia, which also includes work from Irvine Welsh, Alasdair Gray, Kathleen Jamie and Andy Wightman. Well worth a look.

Oh, and there also may be a few guerilla performances of The Moira Monologues, but I will update you once those are confirmed 😉

Happy January…and get your booster!


2021 update

Hi folks, I know it’s been a while since I have kept you up to date on what’s been happening in 2021.

As you might know, I published a new novella, my first extended prose work in nine years, called Lazy Susan, at the end of 2020. It was extraordinarily well received, and you can buy a signed copy of it here.

Two of my early plays, The Ching Room and Turbo Folk, were recently published together in a new edition, which you can buy here.

Most excitingly, I have been funded by Creative Scotland to write my first full-length novel in a looooong time, called The Coven and the Drowners, which I am hoping will be out sometime in 2023 and is going to be AMAAAAZING.

Also, I have made a tentative return to the stage after lockdown. I performed my one-man play The Red Hourglass in Oct 2021 and boy was it enjoyable. It was so lovely to reconnect with an audience after so long spent in my jammies and slippers.

Alan in The Red Hourglass, Oran Mor, Oct 2021

I will also be making an appearance at the Word on the Street festival on Fri Oct 22nd, online, previewing excerpts from The Coven and the Drowners, so if you want to be among the first EVER to hear it, please do log on. You can book tickets here.

On Sunday 28th November I will be appearing IN PERSON at the Cove and Kilcreggan Book Festival with my partner, the novelist Kirstin Innes, for my first live book event since the start of the pandemic. You can buy tickets here.

Isn’t it lovely to be back out in the world! Whoop!

x


Lazy Susan

Right, folks, it’s the big wan: my first book in nearly ten years!!! 🥳 LAZY SUSAN. Hoooo she’s a riot.

Cover image: Line Hoven

But first, a wee story…I stopped writing novels because a) They take SOOOO LONG and b) I got into theatre. I’ve always wanted to go back to it, but then the kids came along and I thought: how the hell am I gonna manage it now?

Last year, however, Speculative Books published the scripts for my Moira Monologues plays and said, ‘How do you fancy doing a novella with us next year?’

Most publishers don’t like novellas, cos they want to sell full-length novels, but these guys were up for it. Now, I didn’t think I would have a chance of clearing the decks to write a full-length novel, but a novella? Something quick and dirty? Yeah man. Get back in the way of writing prose, remind people (and myself!) that I can still do it.

And here it is. LAZY SUSAN will surprise you. The narrator is a feisty 22 year-old on the party scene, a sort of Scottish, working-class Holly Golightly. You’ll like her a lot. There are also wee narrative treats in store that I’m going to let you discover in the reading of it. But I’m immensely proud of this book and think it stands up there with my best work. We’re not gonna sell it through Amazon – cos fuck Amazon – and you probably won’t see it in too many chain bookstores, cos you wouldn’t believe the size of the cut they take, so the best way to get it is from me (if you want it signed), directly from Speculative Books.

I’ve also had some lovely supporting quotes from other authors:

“Alan Bissett’s return to prose is better than your favourite band’s comeback tour. One of Scotland’s boldest voices reminds us what we’ve been missing. Rarely is a book so worthy of starting all over again as soon as finished.” – Michael Pedersen😍

Lazy Susan is a marvellous example of Bissett’s laudable talent in creating witty, human, flawed, and yet thoroughly empathetic characters, whose plights and journeys you are invested in from the first page. Susie’s varied adventures, all of which are worth taking, hit home the impact of the choices we make, as well as those ultimate factors that are outwith our control, no matter what we do. I adored this novella, and find myself wanting to meet Susie again. You will too.” – Jenny Lindsay

Lazy Susan is one hell of a smart novella, crackling with energy from start to finish. Susan’s character is created so vividly that she may as well be sat beside you, sharing her escapades over a glass of white wine. Alan Bissett’s storytelling is fast-paced and hilarious, peppered with moments of crippling poignancy. What an addictive read.” – Imogen Stirling

Lazy Susan is Bissett at his best – warm, mischievous and funny as fuck. Spending an evening in the company of Susan is a riotous pleasure. The masterful structure gives you real agency over the course of her rowdy journey – from hotel rooms to fringe shows to a hilarious comedy debut – I chose the destinations but it was Susan that took me for a ride. The perfectly observed speech patterns and dialogue brings to life a character who revels in her own authenticity. Bold, witty and sometimes hilariously unaware; Susan is the sort of one woman party you’d kill for a night out with in the real world.” – Kevin P. Gilday

I really, really want you all to read this book, cos it’s a big statement for me, cos it’s my only creative thing to come out of 2020, and cos you’ll love it, quite frankly. Have fun with LAZY SUSAN, folks!


Hoose Perty: birthday special

Right youse, it’s my birthday this month, and there’s no been a lot to look forward to this year, so my online Hoose Perty is gonna be a Bissett’s Birthday Special. And youse are invited! Fri 20th Nov, wear some nice claes, get yer disco lights and yer dancing shoes OAN, and come and join me on Zoom between 9pm and 1am for some quality 80s, 90s and 00s choooons! 🤩🥳

Even got some national coverage for it in The Scotsman.

Artist’s impression of actual night.

Here’s how it works: you get dressed up and stick on the disco lights (if you have some) then log onto Zoom (link below). You’re all Muted, and I play some awesome songs, and we all have a dance and a blether in the Chat facility! Like a hoose perty.Just something to make us feel that bit less lonely and disconnected at this weird time.Entrance is free, but if you wanted to donate it would be much appreciated. My account is paypal.me/alanbissettwriter

Zoom link is: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88061472088

Meeting ID: 880 6147 2088

(nb. If you just stare for ages – especially if you’re a guy – and don’t actually move about a bit I’ll probably switch your video off. It’s a club, mate. It’s for dancing.)


Alan Bissett’s Hoose Perty

Wee thing before the main event: my performances of The Red Hourglass for the Glasgow Comedy Festival at the Oran Mor, cancelled because of Covid-19 and rescheduled for November, has now been rescheduled again for 13th March 2021, so here’s hoping this virus has buggered off by then.

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Hoose Perty!

So after the rip-roaring, hip-shaking success of August’s Hoose Perty, where we all got our groove oan on Zoom, comes Alan Bissett’s Hoose Perty 2: Perty Harder!  On Fri Oct 9th (9pm-1am) I’ll be DJ-ing the best 70s, 80s, 90s and 00s pop, dance, indie and rock for yer dancing needs. Nae performance or readings, it’s all aboot the music and the moves. Entry is free, but if you want to pop a donation into my paypal account it’d be much appreciated. Whether you’re inviting pals round for a boogie, or bopping solo, let’s open and a bottle and be free.

See yese there x


Coronavirus News

Hoo! Grim times, folks. But hopefully we will get through this by working together.

Just to let you know that all my live events are cancelled for the foreseeable future, including The Red Hourglass at The Glasgow International Comedy Festival. However, it is being rescheduled for Nov 3rd at the Oran Mor, Glasgow, and your tickets will remain vaild.

It’s worth saying, however, that if I can no longer do live events then my income will be decimated.  I have two kids and have no idea where the money is going to come from now.  As such, I’m going to try experimenting with online, pay-per-view content, which is a new world to me, but I’m starting with letting you see my famous ‘one-woman show’ The Moira Monologues, recorded at Falkirk Town Hall in 2011.  If you care to donate to my Paypal account paypal.me/alanbissettwriter I can send you a Vimeo link with a password for viewing.

Or you could use the same paypal link to buy a copy of one of my books, which I can sign and post out to you?

The Incredible Adam Spark (novel): £12 (inc P&P)

The Moira Monologues + More Moira Monologues: £12 (inc P&P)

Collected Plays 2009-2014: £16 (inc P&P)

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You get some cracking writing, I get to feed my kids. Win win!

We’ll make it through this.  Just think about the perties at the enday it!

A.x