Interview - Liz Lochhead on dealing with fame, the Wishaw nightlife and winching

Scotland’s newly appointed Makar answers The List Q&A

Q&A: Liz Lochhead

First record you ever bought
The Rolling Stones’ eponymous first LP (1963, I think).

First film you saw that really moved you
Doctor Zhivago.

Last lie you told
Can’t remember. Honestly don’t lie too much. Can’t be bothered to mostly. I’m fairly shameless, so I tend to just tell the truth.

First movie you ever went on a date to
Jason and the Argonauts at Green’s Playhouse, Wishaw in 1963. More for the unfettered snogging and winching possibilities afforded by the ‘Golden Divans’, which had no armrests between a double-seat, than for love of sword-and-sandal epics.

Last time you cried
This morning when I woke up.

First thing you do when you’ve got time off work
Phone a friend.

Last great meal you cooked
Just scoffed my obligatory annual haggis, neeps and mashed tatties, with one wee whisky.

Last meal on earth – what would it be
Scallops in a saffron sauce, glass of bone-dry white.

Last extravagant purchase you made
A nice black crepe coat-dress thing, like a posh parka, with a satin-lined hood. It was only extravagant in that – despite being 70 per cent off – I didn’t need it.

First crush
On Douglas Young, my pal Carol’s big cousin, who was (wow) 19 and took me to Green’s Playhouse a lot when I was 15.

Last book you read
Just re-read Raymond Carver’s Cathedral.

First great piece of advice you were given
Shut up and keep your head below the parapet. I didn’t take it though …

Last time you were star struck
Years and years ago when I met (just once – and gushed embarrassingly) Alice Munro who is, I think, the greatest writer going.

First thing you’d do if you ran the country
Abolish exams.

First song you’ll sing at karaoke
Can’t sing, won’t sing. Will scoff at other braver souls though.

Last time you exploited your position to get something
I am about to try this to see if it works at all. Will wait for something really worth chancing my arm over.

First time you realised you were famous
When a couple of school kids in the paper-shop across the road said ‘Haw, you’re that daft poetry wummin, eh?’

Last time someone criticised your work
Should think a lot of people did last week when the announcement was made. Fortunately (thus far) they’ve kept it to themselves.

First three words your friends would use to describe you
Loud, loyal and loquacious.

First concert you ever attended
Chicago Blues Artists Tour in Glasgow at the end of my first week at Art School in 1965. Brilliant.

Last time you bought someone flowers
A wee sprig of freesias for my friend Phyllis who had a truly horrible thing called labyrynthitis last week.

Last time you made an impulse buy and regretted it
No regrets.

Perfect Days

Liz Lochhead's poignant comedy about different types of love follows Barbs Marshall through her various struggles with mother, best friend, ex-husband and her own biological clock.

Educating Agnes

  • 4 stars

Liz Lochhead's very Scottish interpretation of Moliere's School for Wives, in which an ageing bachelor tries to educate his young charge Agnes into becoming the perfect wife for him, unaware that she's already set her sights on someone else. BSL performance Wed 27 Apr 7.45pm. Captioned performance Sat 30 Apr 2.30pm.

Liz Lochhead: Rhyme in Theatre

Scots Makar, writer behind the Lyceum's current production, Educating Agnes and all-round very cool lady poet Liz Lochhead shares her thoughts on rhyme on the stage at this special pre-show event.


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