Plays by Iain Heggie

An Experienced Woman Gives Advice

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Set in the back yard of a block of flats on two Sunday mornings, An Experienced Woman Gives Advice is a sharply observed comic tale of experiences and innocence, insecurities and prejudices, all explored in Heggie’s trademark raw and clear style.

Bella has her routine: she likes to have Sunday mornings to herself in the garden and not even her boyfriend Kenny, a younger man, is allowed to disturb her. But the invasion of a series of strangers and a series of rumours about Kenny’s antics the night before turns her peace into farce, a hilarious muddle of seductions and deceptions, with something quite painful at the heart of it all.

An Experienced Woman Gives Advice premiered at the Royal Exchange Theatre in 1995.

King of Scotland

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

King of Scotland is an award-winning dark comedy, and a free adaptation of Gogol’s ‘Diary of a Madman’.

Twenty-eight consecutive years of unemployment notwithstanding, Tommy McMillan becomes the poster boy for the Department of Social Inclusion’s ‘Training For Work’ scheme – but the Department gets more than they bargained for when they discover the true extent of his aspirations.

A foul-mouthed but sympathetic character, Tommy McMillan offers an interesting role for performance. After his performance in the 2011 revival of the play, Jonathan Watson was praised in the Guardian for 'his particular sensitivity to the portrayal of mental illness', as well as his 'credentials as a comic performer and his feel for the Glasgow patter'.

Featuring trouserless bankers, talking dogs, flying taxis and a razor-sharp parody of the workings of politics, King of Scotland is an outrageous Fringe First winning monologue. King of Scotland was first performed at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2000.

Sauchiehall Street

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Sauchiehall Street is a fast moving comedy about the business of show business, a play turned in on itself in a fizzy satire of actors and agents.

Sauchiehall Street is the busiest street in Glasgow, but the Dorothy Darvel Actors’ Agency is at the wrong end of it. Dorothy Davel herself is an agent extraordinaire, though her actors might not be too pleased if they found out just how carefully she is managing their careers, busy trying to stem the flow of the best ones to powerful London agencies. Two hopeful young actors, Candice and Barry, flounce self-importantly around her office while she squabbles with her once-famous actor husband Gerard and tries to teach her new linguistically-confused assistant Maureen the tricks of the trade.

Sauchiehall Street premiered at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh in 2004.

The Tobacco Merchant's Lawyer

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Glasgow’s tobacco merchants are anxious that the American war will bring their booming trade to a halt, but poor lawyer Enoch Dalmellington has more pressing anxieties closer to home: his ‘dreich, pious, humourless’ and unmarried daughter Euphemia, and the dire predictions emanating from Grahamston’s infamous political medium, Mistress Zapata.

Set in the period leading up to American Independence, and first performed ahead of Scotland's own burgeoning discussions about a referendum for independence from the United Kingdom, The Tobacco Merchant's Lawyer is rife with humour as well as fears for the future.

As the situation develops at home and overseas, Dalmellington's fortunes ebb and flow, and his struggles to secure his daughter's fate become more unwieldy; in the character of this eighteenth-century lawyer, Heggie has created a persona honed with both biting satire and avuncular warmth.

The Tobacco Merchant's Lawyer premiered at Òran Mór, Glasgow, in 2008.

Wiping My Mother's Arse

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Wiping My Mother’s Arse is a foul-mouthed pitch-black comedy about love and truth, and leaving without saying goodbye.

Besotted by her carer Larry, elderly Andrene dreams about getting her first grandchild and leaving the nursing home. Things could be looking up for her when her son Derek returns home for a visit with his new girlfriend Kath. But will Kath consent to having Derek’s children, particularly if she uncovers the details of his mysterious history with Larry?

Everyone except Derek has been convinced by The Shinane Schultz Show that they can get some kind of closure from confronting the past, but he just wants to get away from it. Wiping My Mother’s Arse brings together four wildly disparate characters, all determined to take control of their lives and destinies. The play premiered in 2001 at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh.

The award-winning Iain Heggie is one of Scotland's leading playwrights. His Mobil prize-winning play, A Wholly Healthy Glasgow (1988), and his John Whiting award-winning play, American Bagpipes (1989), both premiered at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester, and were later seen at The Royal Court. His short plays, The Sex Comedies (1993), have been produced many times in London, Scotland, Germany and Austria. His other plays include An Experienced Woman Gives Advice, Don Juan, Love Freaks and Wiping My Mother's Arse.