The Bratchpieces reinvent the Humble Pub Quiz
A family guffaw
Kirstin Innes meets the comedy brothers reinventing the humble pub quiz
The Bratchpieces (father Mark, elder brother David, or Bratchy and younger scion Neil, aka the Wee Man) are well known as Scotland’s only family of stand up comedians. They’ve taken that dynamic into all-Bratchpiece stage shows, and the logical next step seemed to be running a pub quiz together. Bratchy and the Wee Man’s Comedy Pub Quiz , as the name suggests, is a break-out project for the younger Bratchpieces. As the name also suggests, it’s a pub quiz with a bit of comedy in it. And over the past few months it’s become very popular indeed.
‘A couple of years ago a friend wanted to do a charity event with me and my brother and we ran the quiz as a one-off worthwhile and entertaining way of raising some money,’ says Bratchy. ‘Then a couple of years on we were writing some sketches and one of them seemed to just turn into a quiz format, and we decided to resurrect it.’
Basically, they’ve taken the idea of a classic pub quiz and tweaked the format a bit: your basic six rounds covering film, science and nature, mixed in with comedy sketches and ongoing animations and specially shot film sections. It’s all just a little bit more Shooting Stars than your average quiz night down the Queen’s Arms, and it works so well you wonder why nobody thought of doing it before. Audience members are challenged to take on tasks: last month, there was a race to eat and construct the toy inside a Kinder Egg, in time to Davie Bowie’s ‘“Heroes”’. Then there’s the wrestling.
‘My brother is obsessed with wrestling. Seriously, if he went on Mastermind, that would be his specialist subject,’ says Bratchy. ‘So we’ve started putting a different move into every quiz. It’s always the last question of the sports round: we do the move – okay, he does the move on me; I’m usually the fall guy. The ‘heel’, I believe the correct wrestling term is. Then the audience have to guess what the move, or who the wrestler is. We’re actually beginning to run out of safe moves: it’s adding a little frisson of danger to each quiz. We’ve started doing it as the last question in every quiz, just in case there is an injury and I get rushed off to hospital: at least everyone will have got their quiz in and feel like they’ve got value for money.’
The Wee Man is Neil’s alter ego, the sort of noisy Burberry cap-wearing lil’ tyke you’ve probably crossed a couple of streets to avoid. However, despite having to share quiz-hosting duties with someone who’s completely in character, Bratchy insists he’s not the straight man.
‘Naw, we’re basically both bouncing off each other. It’s been noted that we have a natural rapport. Funny that, us being brothers and everything. It’s a bit of a different feel from our stand up, though – we don’t encourage the audience to heckle, but we don’t mind if the teams shout at each other. We are just the ringmasters of a very lunatic circus.’
Comedy Pub Quiz, The Arches, Thu 6 Aug