This is the twelfth edition of the monthly newsletter from Short Attention Span Theatre. It features news about our shows, opportunities for writers and creatives that we've seen, plus plugs for other shows and anything else of interest. If you have anything appropriate you'd like us to include for future drop us a line at
Sketch of rehearsals by Kayleigh McCallum
At the top are some illustrations by Kayleigh McCallum of Johanna Harper, Derek Banner, Grant McDonald and director Eve Nicol in a rehearsal of Elissa Soave's play The Interview. Below are Johanna Harper and Grant McDonald in rehearsals and Derek Banner, Euan Cuthbertson and Sarah C Meikle on stage at the Old Hairdressers in Carl Pickard's play Frank's Wild Years.

November's SAST Shows

Thanks to everyone who came along to see our shows at the Old Hairdressers and the Gilded Balloon Basement Theatre in November. We were once again sold out in Glasgow and had a good turn out in Edinburgh. Thanks to our writers Derek Banner, Liam Bruce, Cicely Gill, Daisy Jo Lucas, Carl Pickard and Elissa Soave. Thanks to our directors Eve Nicol, Stewart Schiller and Karen Barclay. Thanks to our dramaturgs Daniel Gee Husson, Sanna McGregor and Erin-Louise McGee. Thanks to our actors Johanna Harper, Julia Jack, Hazel Ann Crawford, Sarah C Meikle, Euan Cuthbertson, Derek Banner, Grant McDonald and Mick Cullen.

Some audience comments are below.

"A great night, thought provoking, funny."
"Brilliant work. Very worthwhile attending. Will be back."
"A great idea to present these capsule plays. Innovative and entertaining."
"Didn’t know what to expect but was pleasantly surprised by the quality of all the performances and topics covered so well in short performances."

There's news about December's shows later in the newsletter.
10 Things Worth Sharing
Here are ten links we've seen that are worth sharing.

Agatha Christie is one of our most popular and most critically underestimated writers. In the wake of the BBC's successful Christmas adaptations of her work, this article in The Guardian seeks to redress the balance. “A lot of Christie is about predatory relationships,” she says. “She writes about deception, betrayal, philandering men, liars. And about revenge. You can talk about her as pure narrative, but it is a bit like the way that David Lynch develops his work; he takes narrative and then provides this whole subtext which is very disturbing. The undercurrents in Christie are also disturbing.”

The Evening Standard takes a look at the reopening of the Alexandra Palace, affectionately known as the Ally Pally.

The NTS New Season  has been launched, with new work by Jenni Fagan and Jackie Kay to look forward to in 2019. 

Back in The Guardian they're discussing Directing Money Misery - the reality that for most directors a second source of income is the only way they can afford to be in the industry. "Perhaps we worry that to reveal to another director that you have to do another job to be able to live would suggest that you’re not successful enough. And professional jealousy is such that you must never allow another director to believe that you are not successful. You must always give the impression that you float around, with no visible means of support".

The Honest Actors  podcast features similar discussions about the hard facts of being an actor. 

Over on Twitter this month entertaining levels of bitterness, jealousy have been triggered and converted into Hot Takes by  Jonathan Franzen's rules of writing and the title of a Nora Roberts novel. "Most of us are serious writers inasmuch as we take our writing seriously and try to make it as good as we can, but that’s just peanuts compared to how seriously Serious Writers like Jonathan Franzen take their writing and how seriously they’d like us to take their writing too. These guys – and it is usually guys – have serious things to say that need to be not only said seriously but read seriously, interpreted seriously and discussed seriously, for writing is a serious business".

The Garret podcast interviews writers about writing. "I don't admire any of my work. My work seems to me to be... I call my work, ‘staving off failure’. Some I've more successfully staved off failure than others".

The Commit No Nuisance podcast  has Carl Woodward Mark Shenton and guests talking about all aspects of theatre. "May contain: 1. Loving theatre and shouting it from the rooftops 2. Fiascos 3. Shows built for repeated viewing. 4. Forgotten musicals 5. Flying a flag for great theatre"

The Royal Court podcasts focus on new writing and their recent playwrights. "Series 1 writers include April de Angelis, Rachel De-lahay, Tanika Gupta, David Hare, Robert Holman, Dennis Kelly, Alistair McDowall, Anthony Neilson, Joe Penhall, Lucy Prebble, Anya Reiss, Polly Stenham and Enda Walsh. Series 2 writers include Bola Agbaje, Mike Bartlett, Alice Birch, Alecky Blythe, Howard Brenton, Leo Butler, Anupama Chandrasekhar, Emma Crowe, Nat Martello-White, Abi Morgan,  Nick Payne, Penny Skinner, Chris Thorpe, Timberlake Wertenbaker and Roy Williams". 

The Producer's Perspective podcast contains great advice and views from one of America's most successful broadway producers, Ken Davenport. "He is a Tony Award-winning producer of Broadway and Off Broadway shows, including most recently Groundhog Day: The Musical, Deaf West’s Spring Awakening, and The Play That Goes Wrong, as well as the upcoming Broadway revival of Once On This Island and original musical Gettin’ the Band Back Together. Davenport has revolutionized the Broadway market with his diverse approaches at engaging audiences through his shows, as well as supported the Broadway ecosystem through a number of his own subsidiary businesses". 

Robert Radcliffe 1969-2018

We lost one of our friends and colleagues this month. Robert was an exceptional actor, and an inspiration to anyone who ever shared a stage or a rehearsal room with him. Robert was in my first play 'Odds and Sods'. I'd seen him on stage several times previously, most notably in a production of Ann Marie Di Mambro's Tally's Blood. I remember being chuffed that he wanted to audition for our play. When he came in he performed a flawless monologue from Passing Places, after he left, my co-writer and director Fraser Campbell turned to me and said, 'Well, he's got the part.' He was great in the role, although his performance also included my favourite ever mangled line on stage where he said someone had been 'Kneecapped in the arse'. I remember watching the recognition of what he had said cross his face. He later said he could see Fraser and I shaking with laughter in the back row. It's a shame his talent wasn't better known, and an even greater shame that he's passed so young.
The Bank Robbery That Goes Wrong
Chris McQueer and Stuart Cosgrove at Waterstones

What We've Been To See

We went along to Waterstone's for Chris McQueer's launch of his new collection of short stories HWFG. He performed some stories, including the new fan favourite 'Brexit', and was interviewed by Stuart Cosgorve. We also attended his writing workshop. The two hours focused on plotting, how to structure a story and how to make the characters interesting and rounded. Chris is an enthusiastic and considerate teacher, and it's refreshing to see a relativley new writer eagerly share what he's learned with others. Get along if and when he does another session.

The Comedy About A Bank Robbery, which we keep calling The Bank Robbery That Goes Wrong, because it's made by the team that brought us the wildly successful The Play That Goes Wrong and Peter Pan Goes Wrong, is exactly what it says it is, a comedy about a bank robbery. In the first act the gears can be heard grinding as the characters are established by a series of elaborate puns and sight gags, but all that awkwardness pays off in an hysterical and oddly moving second act. 

Glasgow Uni run Creative Conversations on a Monday afternoon in their chapel. We went along to see Liam McIlvaney discuss his latest novel. It's a lovely location for a talk such as this. There's still two more on in December, and they're all free.

Graeme Macrae Burnett was at Dumbarton Library for Scottish Book Week and we went along to listen to him recount his journey from painter and decorator to best selling author.

They'll Get You Now That You're Gone by Kenny Burnham is a delicate and fascinating new play of ideas about modern architecture, it's impact on the people the buildings are designed for and the struggles of the architects at a time when public support for the demolition of 'concrete monstrosities' is high. 

Last night (Fri 30th Nov) Tandem Writing Collective were at Dram with readings from five new plays. It was an enjoyable night, as all the plays and performances were of a high standard. A nice touch was the musical act Marianne and Aaron McGregor who started off each half. Look out for them at The Tron in February.

Things to Read

An Introduction to the Art of Stage Directing
by Len Silver
This tiny pamphlet punches well above its weight and contains a quick snapshot of everything a director needs to think about before taking on a theatrical production. It starts by inquiring into what makes art work and moves on to action, conflict, events, working with actors, applying an active analysis to a text, planning and definitions. It's aim is to give aspiring professional artists a theoretical foundation for the art of stage directing that can be used practically in rehearsals. "No amount of discussion with the actors will reveal what can be discovered about the action through active analysis. On their feet, the actors will attempt to build the interactive reality of the actions. The director's part in this is often hands on: questioning, prodding, suggesting, experimenting: ever mindful of the artistic standards and truths that are valid for all genres and styles". 
Crownpoint Collective Christmas Market

The building where we have our office is having a Christmas Market on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th of December. It runs from 10AM to 4PM. You'll be able to browse and buy from a number of creators who work in the building. At the top of the page you saw Kayleigh's sketches. You can buy and commission from her here. Have a look at her Paint My Dug service. You can get furniture from Turnstyle 13 and from Frances, art and sculpture from Sophie Grindlay, art and illustrations from Jasmine Holt, all things fashion from Things by Rosana and unusual houseplants from Callym at Arcanopy. Callym is also running a 'house plants SOS', so if you have any questions about plants in your house come and ask him. There will also be a raffle in aid of the Glasgow Children's Hospital Charity where you can win prizes from the makers (including ourselves). It's FREE entry and there will be plenty of other things going on with some food and drink available. Here's a map of how to find us.

Things Coming Up We Recommend

We're full on into the Christmas show season. Mammy Goose at The Tron is underway. If you want to see it this side of New Year you better book quickly. At Eastwood Park Theatre from 11th December is Jack and the Beanstalk II: Return of the Farmer by Andy McGregor. At East Kilbride Arts Centre Running Late Theatre Company have an original Christmas show called Waiting for Gabriel. It's on Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd December, with two performances on the Sunday. Tickets are available from the South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture website. The Citizens Theatre are doing A Christmas Carol at the Tramway, opening on 4th December. In Edinburgh Wendy and Peter Pan, adapted by Ella Hickson has opened at the Lyceum. Also in full swing is Pitlochry Theatre's The Wizard of Oz running until 23rd December. Of course Short Attention Span Theatre have our own Christmas show, details of that further down the page.
Running Late Theatre Company's Waiting for Gabriel


The following are creative opportunities we've noticed over the last few weeks. 

The BBC Writersroom's Drama window is open from 10th December until 7th January.

Cuckoo Bang have their new writing night Bits in February and are looking for short script submissions with a deadline of 10th December.

Speculative Books are currently looking for novellas. The deadline is 31st December 2018.

Tiny Theatre Company are looking for 15-20 minute playscripts for a showcase in London.

Imaginate are looking for an Assistant Producer. The deadline is 13th December.

365 Women a Year Playwriting Project – Deadline: 31 December 2018

The deadline is 5th December if you want to apply to become Front of House Manager at Platform in Easterhouse.

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland are looking for a Programme Support Administrator. Deadline 5th December.
Third-party opportunities disclaimer

Please note that third party listings and links to third party websites listed on this website are provided solely for your convenience and not as an endorsement by Short Attention Span Theatre. We are not responsible for the content of linked third-party sites and make no representations regarding the content or accuracy of materials on such third-party websites. Additionally, Short Attention Span Theatre does not provide or make any representation as to the quality or nature of any of the third party opportunities or services published on this website, or any other representation, warranty or guaranty. Any such undertaking, representation, warranty or guaranty would be furnished solely by the provider of such third-party opportunity or services, under the terms agreed to by such provider.

December's SAST Shows

We're at Offshore on Gibson Street, Glasgow on Wednesday 12th December and Camerons, Fullarton Street, Ayr on Thursday 13th December.
The four plays are:
The Great Elf Strike of 2018 by Derek Banner directed by Karen Barclay
The Warlock of Hangman's Bridge written and directed by Karen Barclay
Gifts by Tom Brogan and Kat Harrison directed by Mairi Davidson

Secret Santa by Catriona Duggan directed by Johanna Harper
Ticket for Offshore are £5 (50p booking) and are available from See Tickets. They've already started selling so if you'd like to come along get one now. There's no alcohol on sale at Offshore, so the venue is suitable for 14 years and upwards. There are plenty of cakes, coffee, tea and soft drinks on sale. Camerons are asking for a minimum donation of £5. Phone 07572113529 to reserve tickets.
We're now on Ko-fi so if you'd like to support us by donating a  few pounds we would be very grateful. We're new to it so we're working out how to use it best and what extra content we can provide there. We'll have more in future newsletters.

What Our Previous Writers Are Doing Now

Here you'll find what some of the writers of our previous shows have been doing and what they have coming up in the next month or so.

Chris McQueer - Chris's new short story collection HWFG is available from all good bookshops and publishers 404 Ink.

Fraser Campbell - Fraser has a new Kickstarter running for another Alex Automatic comic project. It's already over 200% funded. Have a look and get in on some of the fun stretch goals that are coming.

Elaine Malcolmson - Elaine's Glasgow International Comedy Festival show for 2019 is now on sale. You can also watch her right now on the BBC Northern Ireland show The Blame Game on the iPlayer.

Julie McDowall - Julie's nuclear war podcast Atomic Hobo is now up to 29 episodes. You can download it on iTunes.

Tom Brogan - Issue 10 of Nutmeg Magazine includes Tom's feature on Davie Cooper's early days in football at Clydebank FC. Tom spoke to a number of people who were close to Davie at the time to tell the story. It's out in the middle of December and you can subscribe at the website.
Thanks for reading. If you believe this newsletter might interest others, we'd love for you to tell your friends or share it with them. We'll have a special 'Best Of' newsletter hitting your inbox on Christmas Day.
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Short Attention Span Theatre · 2 Berl Avenue · Houston · Johnstone, Renfrewshire PA67JJ · United Kingdom

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