Random Accomplice present a comedic look at the Commonwealth Games with News Just In
Johnny McKnight promises ‘daft tongue-in-cheek nonsense. It’s fun, disposable, unapologetic, brash comedy’
Random Accomplice is able to turn its hand to more serious matters – recent comedy Wendy Hoose made salient points about disability within the fast-flowing gags – but News Just In is playing to the strengths of Julie Brown and Johnny McKnight.
‘This is definitely a sex show! Everyone in it is wanting sex,’ laughs McKnight. It is also a huge challenge, with a new play being performed every night for ten nights. ‘It’s longer than The James Plays at the Edinburgh Festival, and they have got five months of rehearsal. We’ve got a ten-hour script and four weeks. Plus a song and a dance in each episode.’
With this typically cheeky and iconoclastic response to the Commonwealth Games, Brown and McKnight are building on his reputation for pantomime and the company’s reputation for taking a high concept and giving it a populist slant.
‘Each episode has a loose theme,’ McKnight continues. ‘The introduction is about gearing up for the whole event. There is an episode about disability and one about gay sports – and one where the TV station gets taken hostage by people sick of seeing the Clyde as an arts venue. They want it back for ships!’
Unlike much of the Culture 2014 programme, there is a thankful lack of chat about legacy and showcasing the nation in News Just In. Rather, McKnight sees this ambitious run at the Arches as a sort of summer pantomime, with additional topical humour and ambition – at least for the actors, who will be giving ten consecutive first-night performances.
‘The size of Glasgow is going to double over the Games,’ adds Brown. ‘And we thought that Random Accomplice could grow too. This event is massive!’
While each night’s show will be different, each episode will stand alone, and McKnight promises ‘daft tongue-in-cheek nonsense. It’s fun, disposable, unapologetic, brash comedy.’
The Arches, Glasgow, Tue 22 Jul – Sat 2 Aug.