Preview: The Southside Group presents Another Nice Mess

Preview - The Southside Group Presents Another Nice Mess -

Glasgow’s acclaimed learning-disabled theatre company, The Southside Group, is set to captivate audiences once again with their latest production, “Another Nice Mess.” Penned by local playwright Stewart Ennis, this brand-new show promises an uproarious journey into the world of comedy legends Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. Performances will take place from Thursday, June 29th to Saturday, July 1st at the fabulous Tramway in Glasgow.

The QR’s rave review of The Southside Group’s Christmas 2022 offering, ‘The Snow Queen’

Transporting spectators back to June 1947, “Another Nice Mess” delves into the return of Stan Laurel, himself a former resident of Glasgow’s Southside, alongside his comedic partner Oliver Hardy. The duo is slated to grace the stage of The Glasgow Empire. However, parallel to this tale unfolds the predicament faced by the local Laurel and Hardy Club’s Battlefield branch. Threatened with eviction from their beloved but bomb-damaged cinema, the club finds itself up against the formidable Lords Bannatyne, who have plans to convert the site into a “motor vehicle tenement parking” facility.

…from the outset, we didn’t want to try and do some kind of ‘biopic’. Rather, we were much more interested in the world of Glasgow circa 1947, of the hopes and aspirations of a community just recovering from the Second World War and looking for ways to celebrate their hard-fought survival.

Peter Clerke – The Occasion’s Co-Artistic Director

Will the resourceful members of the L&H Club succeed in thwarting the dastardly plans of the Bannatyne estate? Will they finally have the opportunity to meet their comedy idols? The brave band, led by Detective Inspector Michael ‘Mick’ McMichael, Bootleg Billy, Pickpocket Pam, and a cast of other colorful characters, will endeavor to save the day. Think 1940s Ealing comedies, and you won’t be far away.

The Southside Group in preparations for Another Nice Mess from Stewart Ennis
The Southside Group in preparations for Another Nice Mess from Stewart Ennis

The Southside Group, an initiative spearheaded by Glasgow’s esteemed theatre company, The Occasion, has been instrumental in providing individuals with learning disabilities the chance to participate in the world of theater. Comprising 15 talented individuals aged 20 to 60, the group meets weekly in Glasgow’s Southside. Some members boast prior performance experience, while others are enthusiastic beginners. Together, they showcase their abilities, challenge preconceptions, and demonstrate the immense power of inclusion on stage.

The development of The Southside Group over the past 3 years has been remarkable. From the early lock-down days, when group members hardly knew each other, let alone how Zoom worked, through to the first public performances of ‘The Snow Queen’ last December and now onto Tramway and ‘Another Nice Mess.

Peter Clerke – The Occasion’s Co-Artistic Director

Recognizing the importance of accessibility, all performances of “Another Nice Mess” will be BSL (British Sign Language) interpreted and captioned, ensuring that everyone can fully enjoy the show. Accomplished BSL interpreter Karen Forbes will grace the stage, adding unexpected interactions that further enliven the production. Additionally, captioner Glenda Carson’s text will be seamlessly integrated into the show’s video content, enhancing the experience for all.

The performances will be held at Tramway, Glasgow, on Thursday, June 29th, and Friday, June 30th, at 7.30pm, with a final showing on Saturday, July 1st, also at 7.30pm. To purchase tickets and for further insights into The Occasion and The Southside Group, please visit their website.