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The Graduettes 27-04/2015 - 01/05/2015

by Me - Review of the Websters Theatre show

The Graduettes, Websters Theatre, Glasgow. 27th April-1st May‏.

It's been described by others as 'Sex and the City meets The Inbetweeners'. To be honest, I'm not a huge fan of pigeon-holing like that, and having attended its first night at Websters I think it'd be far more apt to describe it rather as an excellent update on 80s sitcom City Lights. See wot I did there?

The show centres around three girls and their lesser halves as they try to navigate life after education with as little effort as possible. The stage play itself is based on an episode entitled The Girls Solve a Murder, in which Sophie is pregnant to Andrew, whom she barely knows, and is all set to put on the perfect Christmas dinner for his mother. As they prepare to break the big news to her, Sophie and her friends find the landlady dead on the living room floor and must solve the case or hide the body before Andrew’s mother arrives.

The Graduettes started out as a simple idea by Belfast born Ashleigh Wilkie to create a female version of the hit sitcom “Peep Show”. This developed into a script for a television pilot by her writer/director husband Sean, who wrote six episodes of the show in one long stream of consciousness.

Rather than pursue a pilot though, the team worked with Sean’s production company, There’s Been a Murder Productions, and fellow producers, Chris Somerville and Stephen Wilkie, to produce a stage play which ran for two nights in Glasgow last year and went down a storm with audiences who loved the Glasgow banter and outrageous humour.

I can see why it got that type of reaction, as I thoroughly enjoyed the performance. I won't spoil the plot for you in case you catch it at Websters or the Fringe, but what I would say is that it's really funny. I can see it'd come across well on the small screen, but as a stage play it works on a different level - watching it I felt I was more like in a studio audience rather than in a theatre, although this didn't affect the usual intimacy you can feel from a stage show. I would love to see how it transfers onto a recorded sitcom though, so if that was the intention then it worked for me!

The episode / show I watched was well-scripted, full of colourful Scots patter that took you through disaster after disaster for the characters, with cheeky one-liners drizzled through including one concerning peanut butter I'm still chuckling about. We were also treated to a 'next time on the Graduettes' reveal of the following episode, and a bizarrely amusing commercial break in the middle made even more surreal by the characters' subsequent reaction to what had just happened!

On the night I was there the audience appeared to include lots of critics & bloggers, but the atmosphere was still genuinely warm and the applause & laughs throughout noticeable, so that's always a good sign.

There’s Been a Murder Productions are running a crowdfunding campaign to take the show to the Edinburgh Fringe with great perks like getting to play the dead body in the show or a private living room performance. The campaign can be found here


The show stars Jennifer McErlane (Dirty Water), Rachel Wile, Heather Haddow (Frank, The Pull), Neal Stewart Roxburgh, Atta Yaqub (Ae Fond Kiss) and John Gaffney (Mad Mitch) who at one point in the show I thought was heading towards total nakedness (!).

It was created by Ashleigh Wilkie, written and directed by Sean Wilkie, produced by Chris Somerville and Stephen Wilkie, make up design by Yvonne Lynch and Lesley MacAllister.

You can pick up tickets for their run at Websters here:

...but even if you can't go, make sure you pop over to the crowdfunding campaign and spare some pennies to get these guys to the Fringe and help them build some real momentum!

Comments for The Graduettes 27-04/2015 - 01/05/2015

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May 01, 2015
by: Sean

First of all, I'm not your pal.

And secondly, I think you are being spiteful, not only are you attacking the cast but now you're saying a 'real review' which is an attack on the reviewer, whom I don't know by the way, and have never met. And yes I have had feedback from people who weren't friends and family and it's been both positive and negative which is fine with me because these people have the spine to say to my face what they did or didn't like about the show. They understand what it takes to create something and to stand on stage and be exposed to an audience. It's far easier to deconstruct something than it is to create.

Apologies though I wasn't aware you spoke for the entire human race on the matter of what is and isn't funny. I was under the impression humour was a personal thing that differs from person to person.

I'm not going to get involved in some ongoing spat here, it's fine if you didn't like the show, and if you chose not to put your name to your opinion that is also fine, it is the internet and it's your right to hide behind a keyboard.

May 01, 2015
School play
by: Anonymous

I'm sorry, i must be wrong, all those friends and family who have seen your show and told you how wonderful it is must have gone to your head. Have you had feedback from people who don't know you or the cast yet? get some feedback forms made up and have it "anonymous" and you'll get the REAL feedback from your audience. I'm just being honest with you pal, its not the best show, its not even funny (unless your a friend or family member who knows the cast). I'm not telling you this to be spiteful I'm telling you because its the truth. If you think my comments are harsh just wait till you get a "Real" review (and not from a pal).

May 01, 2015
What Show Were You At
by: Sean

We're all entitled to our opinion, all I will say is the show was filmed so we know exactly when and where the laughs came in so if anyone was at the wrong show it's anonymous.

Apr 29, 2015
by: Scott

Thanks for your comment 'Anonymous'!

In answer to your query about what show I was at, I was at the same one as you, perhaps on a different night. Interesting that we had completely the opposite experience. Just goes to show I guess that people like different things, and that some prefer to encourage publicly rather than criticise anonymously. :-)

Apr 29, 2015
What show where you at?
by: Anonymous

It's great to see new things, but it's terrible to see things redone, & worse when it executed poorly! The show was poorly acted, terribly scripted and is as close to a TV pilot than a high school play. The first "outrageous" joke came within the first few minutes when having cancer is compared to pregnancy, you could hear a pin drop, give it two beats and enter a single solitary awkward laugh from a friend or family member, after peeling my hands from my face the cringe factor didn't stop there, as we where met with a barrage of cheap, cheesey jokes and the occitional offensive joke to keep it edgy. The only laughter I heard was from same pockets of the audience (clearly friends and/or family of the cast) from start to finish. I've been to see some terrible plays before but this one took the biscuit! Could not give one cast member pass marks and the blocking looks as thou it was done by a chimp on roller skates!

Apr 28, 2015
by: Rosaleen Creaney

I went to the two showings last year but unfortunately cannot manage to get this time and I'm gutted ( it's thenkly word for it ) however I have sent some coppers to help get it to the fringe and will hopefully contribute some more

Keep the laughter going xx

Apr 17, 2015
Can't wait
by: Scott

I've heard great things about this performance and am looking forward to it!

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