Alan Bissett

Playwright, novelist, performer, bletherer.

Moira in Lockdown: new show coming in August

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 double-bill tour 2018 – Spring dates

Hiya pals! I’ll be touring my soooo acclaimed ‘one-woman shows’ The Moira Monologues and its award-winning sequel (More) Moira Monologues as a double-bill throughout 2018, but I thought I’d get some of the initial Spring dates up for you in case you’re thinking of treating the loved one/bam in your life to some tickets for Christmas.


Moi as ‘Moira’

Unless otherwise specified, both shows will be on in the same evening.

9th Feb (Fri) – Whitehills Public Hall, Portsoy – (01261) 843006
10th Feb (Sat) – Bettridge Centre, Newtonhill – (01569) 731320
15th Feb (Thurs)  – Macrobert Centre, Stirling. (More) Moira only, plus Q&A.
6th March (Tues) – Edge Hill Arts Centre, Ormskirk.
9th March (Fri) –Town Hall, Falkirk.
11th March (Sun) – Citizens Theatre, Glasgow.
17th March (Sat) – Burgh Hall, Cove
6th April (Fri) – Howden Park, Livingstone. Moira Monologues only.
8th April (Sun) – Arts Centre, Paisley
More dates and venues to be added for Summer and Autumn, so watch this space!

Me in, like, new plays and stuff

Okay persons out there, just to keep you updated with what’s happening in Bissettland (nice to visit, btw, but you wouldn’t want to live there). Writing-wise, I’m working on the screenplay to my first novel, Boyracers, and have scripted a pilot episode of The Moira Monologues for the BBC. I’m optimistic about both of these things being shot.

The performing itch has come back though, resulting in my first new show since Moira. The Red Hourglass finds me playing five different parts: three male, two female, none of them human. There’s going to be an Edinburgh Fringe run in the summer, but in the meantime I’ll be doing a scripted reading for the National Theatre of Scotland’s Reveal season at the Citizens Theatre, Glasgow, on May 2nd-3rd. Come along if you can’t wait til August.  You may see one of these:

The Red Hourglass

Secondly, I’ll be appearing every day at 1pm in Dear Glasgow as part of Oran Mor’s A Play, A Pie and a Pint series, from Mon Apr 23rd to Sat 28th. The play will comprise of letters delivered to the Scottish people from the Arab world, and promises to be powerful.

And for those of you who are writers, I’ll be discussing my creative process at the CCA (Sauchiehall St, Glasgow) for the Scottish Writers’ Centre in a free event at 7pm on Thurs Apr 12th.

Finally, on Thurs Apr 19th, I’ll be hosting two of China’s most famous writers, Xu Zechen and Annie Baobei, ‘in conversation’ at the Confucius Institute for Scotland, in Edinburgh at 6pm. Read all about it here.

Oh, and, while I’m here. Support Scottish independence. Here’s why I’m backing it.