Posts tagged ‘Scottish Comedy’

Introducing Mistress MacKenzie

Good morning, Stalkers!

I know it’s 20.49 on a Sunday evening. But it’s Saturday morning in Strathbungle – a region which lies between the upper-lowland-mid-Highlands and the inner estuary of my head.

Mistress MacKenzie's Cottage

Mistress MacKenzie lives there in The Midgie View Guest Hoose – in the village of Glenclootie (Valley of The Devil) – where she runs a small croft and broadcasts school lessons for the children of the isolated communities from her garden shed studio. On no account should you ever let your children listen to these lessons unless you approve of Hoodoo.

She is very lonely so is looking for new stalkers. And a new husband. On no account should you snog her as she has Gingivitis.

Drop her a wee tweep (Scots for Tweet) @MistressMacKenzie using the hash tag #AskMistress and she will knit you a cardigan in your favourite colours. On no account should you wear it as she uses a mix of freshly slaughtered lambs’ wool and 1960s recycled asbestos.

Here’s a picture of her with her flying squirrel, Archie. You can also ask Archie anything you like about life as a flying squirrel using the hash tag #AskArchie. No animals were harmed in the making of this fictional Squirrel.

Mistress MacKenzie and Archie

She also has an advice column in The Strathbungle Chronicle so you can send her a wee letter to Mistress MacKenzie, The Gairden Shed Studio, Glenclootie Fairm, Glenclootie Village, Strathbungle, Scotland, The Worild and she will respond in kind and help you get the best out of your Bannock and give you some #HandyHints as to where you can #HideYourHusbandsBody.

You can also listen to a flavour of her real proper wireless radio show here: Mistress MacKenzie on The Shark’s Mouth

Colin McCredie in the Art Gallery

Colin McCredie

And for the more adventurous, come and see her LIVE at The Tron Theatre, 63 Trongate, Glasgow, G1 5HB, on the 3rd December 2015 at 8.30pm.

This will be a LIVE READING of the BBC Radio Scotland show, Mistress MacKenzie and Friends, which was produced by Gus Beattie for The Comedy Unit.

Mistress Mac will be joined by very special guest star, Colin McCredie, from off of that there Taggart, River City, Shallow Grave and is also Tig’s Daddy, in CBeebies Wooly and Tig – AND all the male voices in the BBC Radio Scotland’s broadcast of Mistress MacKenzie and Friends.
Tickets will be available from The Tron Theatre Tickets For Live Reading

Thanking you!

Mistress Mac's Shed Outiside View

The Gairden Shed Studio

BBC Radio Scotland Stands Up For Pudsey

I was absolutely delighted to be asked to take part in Stand Up For Pudsey Live at The Stand Comedy Club, Edinburgh.  It was recorded live and broadcast on BBC Radio Scotland last Friday.  I appeared alongside some of Scotland’s finest comedians, delightfully hosted by one of my comedy heroes, Sanjeev Kohli. Click on the link below to hear the show.  I am second on, so pretty close to the start.  I did a five minute set which went down a storm, but sadly, my ‘Guising’ routine about children coming to my door at Hallowe’en and how I gave them short shrift was deemed a bit to close to the bone for a family audience on Children In Need day.  Oops!  You’ll just have to catch that one live in a comedy club near you next Hallowe’en.

Keara Murphy Stands Up For Pudsey

Glasgow Comedy Festival 2013

My new show, Keara Murphy: Mice & Men, will debut at Glasgow Comedy Festival 2013 on 14th March… Tickets Here:!/shows/425

Keara Murphy: Mice & Men
Whilst preparing her annual Burns Supper speech, a wee mousie popped its head out from under Keara’s couch to ask, politely, if he could share her rice.  After a courteous conversation involving a hammer, Keara pondered the line in Robert Burns’, To A Mouse: “A daimen icker in a thrave’s a sma’ request”.  Should Keara grant the mousie’s request or lay down fifty shades of warfarin for the wee blighter?  If we continue to treat mice ‘humanely’ will they eventually take over the telly?  – It’s already happened in Leith!

And, what of men?  Are they not just gigantic mice?  After extensive on-the-job research, Keara thinks this may be so.  Therefore, like Rabbie Burns before her, Keara muses the parallels between the species and laments. 

“She’s Eddie Izzard with less make-up and more Glasgow” List”
“Exudes Glaswegian charm.” Scotsman
“Intelligent Burns banter” Friday Fix
“Passionate, enthusiastic and deeply knowledgeable about Robert Burns” SLTA

It’s gonna be good, it’s gonna be truthful, it’s gonna be funny, it’s gonna be beautiful, it’s gonna lose me friends and alienate people, it’s gonna be fun!


Billy Connolly, My Hero…

I have had Billy Connolly in my bones since I was a wee girl and now, as an adult, I still adore him as much as, if not more than, I did back then.  He is the reason I do comedy.  He has had a massive influence on me and my life.  He gave me permission to make fun of everything and go boldly into this world, daring to speak the truth and to have no fear.  He is like some kind of uncle-Godfather figure to me and now I get to write about him as part of my job.

I wrote this piece a week ago and, by coincidence, this week he was voted the most influential British comedian of all time.  I knew that already, of course, and to the Glasgow comics and fans, this comes as no surprise.

In recent years I have heard people saying things like, ‘Billy Connolly’s not funny any more’ and ‘The Big Man’s lost it’ and it infuriates me.  What more do they want from him? He’s almost seventy, for f’s sake!  And he was the one who started it for us all; there would be no Frankie Boyle, no Kevin Bridges, no Janey Godley without him.  He talked about the tragedy of the human condition; ‘life with the knickers down’ – and made us laugh at ourselves. He paved the way for the rest of us who dreamed of doing the same. But none of us can or will ever touch him; he is the original and still the best.

We must remember what he gave us: He has recorded around 30 albums, written three full-length plays for theatre, appeared in around forty films, made hundreds of television guest appearances – over and above his constant touring all across the globe and endless charity work for Comic Relief and beyond.  He has already given the world more than enough.  He is a genius and an inspiration to millions.  And he came from nothing.

This was published today in The List, and I couldn’t be prouder.  Gaun yersel Big Yin!  You are – and always will be – my number one hero!

It’s The Year of The Dragon – But I Am A Sheep

Last week, in a flush of self-assurance, I said to a comedy friend, “I think next year is my year!”

He paused, smiled, looked over my shoulder to another male comedian and said, “Well, it IS the year of the dragon!”

They both burst into laddish guffaws then high-fived each other as I sat smiling, mildly laughing and thinking that if I WAS a dragon I would not be sitting here but rather soaring above the rain clouds and flying into to the sun.  And occasionally singing a song about frolicking in the Autumn mist.

“I’m not a dragon!” I protested “That’s my trouble; I’m too soft.”

A cynical eyebrow was raised as the lads exchanged knowing looks.  I thought, Christ, these guys really don’t know me.

If they did they would know that I am so far removed from the personality of a dragon that if I tried to breathe fire on them they would be gently cooled in a soothing spray of scented lavender.

So I said, “Actually, I do need to toughen up.”

More cynical smiling glances were exchanged and as my under-inflated ego was adopting the brace position I suddenly thought, actually, perhaps I do need to be a dragon to succeed in this industry.

So, what is a dragon then? And how can I become one?

According to Chinese Horoscope, ‘The Dragon is a creature of myth and legend’ Okay, then, I can pretend to be one.  After all, this industry is full of artifice.  The dragon is ‘a symbol of good fortune, a sign of intense power and a master of authority.’

Sounds pretty cool, huh?

‘The Oriental Dragon is regarded as a divine beast – the reverse of the malicious monster that Westerners feel necessary to find and slay.’

Ahah!  So my friends were inadvertently complimenting me? I cannot wait to thank them.  Furthermore ‘Those people born in Dragon years are to be honored and respected.’  So there!  Read it and weep fat boys – and kiss my sweet smelling feet.

Except, I wasn’t born in the year of the Dragon, I was born in the year of the Sheep.

I know this because my sister lived in Hong Kong for ten years and she once bought me a beautifully framed litho print of a sheep for one of my birthdays.  The sheep is ‘obedient and kind’ according to the notes on the back of this print – which sounds much more like me.

However, the sheep does tend to have negative connotations in this country involving being a follower, being dependent on others and em, being treated as a ‘companion’ in remote areas, my trusty Chinese Horoscope tells me that ‘The sheep simply wants a bit of peace.  They enjoy carrying on with life in their own quiet way, content to be in the middle of it all rather than to be leading it. Sheep are quiet and calm people. They enjoy cultural things and focus much of their energy on artistic hobbies. Sheep are easygoing and relaxed, kind, smart and happy to be going with the flow.’

Now this does more accurately describe me.  And the next time you pass a field of sheep have a closer look.  You will see them behind easels painting the landscape, doing a little yoga in the afternoon sun, then later enjoying a cheese-board and a fine vintage Port.

‘Sheep people are nurturers, they are reserved and soothing and will generally do well because they are so good at keeping the peace and accomplishing the tasks at hand.’  Not too shabby – or, em, woolly even.

Except, perhaps being too much of a sheep has held me back in the comedy industry? Sheep are also ‘dependent and insecure’ which isn’t so great.  Mind you, I do not know any comedian, artist, actor or performer of any kind who isn’t at least a little insecure.  And aren’t we all on some level dependent on others?

I’m not sure I mind too much being a sheep – which is, in fact, just like a sheep.

However, what can I learn from the dragon?  What characteristics does the dragon have, clearly lacking in the sheep, that I can nurture to help me be a more successful comedian?

People tell me to be a successful stand-up comedian one has to be ruthless, determined, single-minded, unsentimental, eager, sociable, hard-working, adaptable, available, manipulative, Machiavellian, smart, fucked-up in some way and I think ‘funny’ comes into it somewhere.

My trusty horoscope tells me ‘Dragons are free spirits’.  They dislike rules and regulations because restrictions blow out the ‘creative spark that is ready to flame into life.’

Well, I am a free-spirited and I hate rules but I have found, to my cost, that sometimes breaking the rules can get you into a lot of trouble so you do need to know what rules to break and which to observe. ‘The dragon is a beautiful creature, colourful and flamboyant.’  Uhuh, keep talking!  ‘The dragon is an extroverted bundle of energy, gifted and utterly irrepressible.’

Hmmm, sometimes I feel like this but only on my birthday and maybe on the first day of Spring and possibly for a few moments after I’ve had a Grand Marnier – longer if I’m sitting in front of a roaring peat fire.   ‘Everything the dragon does is on a grand scale.  They are full of big ideas, ornate gestures and extreme ambitions.’

Okay, I’m feeling a little overwhelmed about being a dragon now.

‘However this behaviour is natural and isn’t meant for show.’  Okay, I would never expend all that energy unless it was for show.  Otherwise, I see no point in not sticking the kettle on and watching my laundry dry whilst licking a chocolate ginger.

Okay, tea-break over, back to the dragon:  ‘Because they are confident and fearless in the face of challenge…’ of course they are ‘…they are almost inevitably successful.’  Well, that’s nice!  Well done that Dragon.

Can I take a nap now, please?

No, okay… ‘Dragons usually make it to the top.’  Yes, but do they have any friends?  ‘Dragons’ generous personalities give them the ability to attract friends, but they can be rather solitary people at heart.’  Ah, so the Dragon is a lonely beast?

‘A dragon’s self-sufficiency can mean that he or she has no need for close bonds with other people.’  Okay, so, not lonely, just psychopathic.

I guess I already have some of the ‘Dragon’ elements in me.  I am generous and do attract friends, I can turn on the gregarious personality when I want to.  But, like the sheep, I often do want to stay at home in my pyjamas with a cup of Green tea watching a documentary about the slow, painstaking process of restoring a grand old building.  And I shout at the TV people sometimes.

Yes, I am currently single – and I’m okay with that too.

Much more of a sheep than a dragon I think we all agree.

‘Dragon people must be aware of their nature.  Too much enthusiasm can leave them tired and unfulfilled’ – Ah, there we have it, finally: an admission that being a dragon is exhausting and unfulfilling.

Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa to that! (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

So, I am happy to be a sheep.  The art is its own reward for me and all that – and the time to do that and to do it well is more important to me than money (which is just as well what with me being a sheep and all).

Is the dragon ever content in the efforts of the busy-busy life?  Does she not tire of always charging forward?  Does she not get fed up with all that success and all those parties and the fun and fire and brimstone of it all? Does she ever take time to enjoy the process or to sit still in the joy of being?  Has she ever trully enjoyed a dark chocolate ginger?

And it’s just silly to think you can throw out all of the rules!  You would be inundated with parking tickets and spend half your life in the jail – I’ve been there (well, not the jail, yet!)  and you would NEVER make it in show-business, so may have to content yourself with being a successful entrepreneur or something.

I do observe the important rules and ignore the ridiculous ones.  I now enjoy a slower-paced life where I get to enjoy the sunsets and the finer details of evolution.  And people are important to me – my friends and my family.  Without them I cannot hear the sound of laughter.  And, in my own way, I am already a success:  I can change a tire, bake a lazy loaf and can sometimes even set my flamin’ hard-to-set vibrating watch to actually vibrate.

So, to my cynical chums, as you can see, if horrorscopes are to be believed, I am not a dragon but a sheep.  Neither label is uncomplimentary.

A sheep actually painted this whilst I was slaying that dragon. Unbelievable!

%d bloggers like this: