Subcontract

By Bob Davidson

Performed by John Scougall , Lucy Goldie and Barry Robertson


In a special blog post we put together all of our content for Bob Davidsons Subcontract. Where you can listen to the cast interview. Listen to Bobs favourite five songs via Spotify and enter our Christmas Competition. We also have included a transcript for you to read of the podcast to allow everyone to take part in our content. Look out for our second part to the interview next week!

About The Play:


An award-winning play, set in the present in the small office of a joiner's workshop in the Scottish Highlands. Dougie and Jessie's business is going under until one day they receive a mysteries phone call from the Government. Scared that it is the inland revenue when Mr Cooper appears he questions the couple to sign the secrecy act to work in secrecy on building a nuclear submarine made completely out of MDF to save the government millions of pounds without the public knowing.


You can purchase the play today for as little as £1.99

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The Podcast:

The Cast:

From Left to Right:

John Scougall, Lucy Goldie, Barry Robertson and playwright Bob Davidson


Facebook Competition:


Win a paperback copy and audiobook of Subcontract including five runner up prizes by entering our Facebook competition below. (answer is available via our podcast)

Bob Davidson's Insights:

Listen Exclusively on Spotify


Transcript of Podcast:


Barry Robertson:


Hello, and welcome to today's episode. I'm Barry Robertson, the founder of the Grey Hill, and you're listening to Barry Robertson's insights and today's episode. We are talking to the cast and the creative team behind 'Subcontract' written by Bob Davidson, 'subcontract' is an award-winning play set in the present in a small office of a joiners workshop in the Scottish Highlands Dougie and Jessie played by John Scougall and Lucy Goldie. Their business is going under until one day they receive a mysterious phone call from her Majesty's government scared. It's the inland revenue, you, when I, Mr. Cooper appears he questions the couple to sign the secrecy act, to work in secrets on building a nuclear submarine made completely out of MDF to save the government millions of pounds without the public knowing. This podcast interview is split over two episodes. Firstly we talk to John and Lucy about working on the production and their thoughts on 'subcontract'. And then following that, we talked to Bob Davison and his thoughts on 'subcontract', What's great about this podcast episode is that, I hope it gives you the insights of the behind the scenes of the creatives. How Bob got his light bulb moment of writing, the piece and how John, Lucy and myself found the text and conveyed it into this amazing production brought to you by the Grey Hill.


Excerpt of Play:


Right, dae a trumpet, dae a trumpet... Do do do do to doo. Aye very good what is it? What d'ye mean what is it? Is it no' obvious? It's a moose heid. It's awfy big... Canadian, moose heid... Oh aye, them. It's awfy flat is it no'? Two dimensional? Cartoonesque I would say. It's friendly, unthreatening, dissnae ask too many questions, beautifully designed by masel' and skilfully hand crafted by my own two fair hands out of six millimetre medium density fibreboard better kent by its generic title, MDF.... What d'ye mean dissnae ask too many questions? What questions does a moose ask. Well, tae me, a real moose heid asks a lot of questions. A hell o' a lot of questions. Like how did that heid come to be there? What happened tae the rest o' the moose? Why would anybody, one, want tae kill such a braw beast, two, then cut it's heid off? And finally three, stick it up on their wa'? Whereas the Dougie designed, some would say two dimensional, I would prefer to say cartoonesque, MDF moose heid, asks none of those questions. It's modern, fun, clean and ye can hing yer bunnet on it's antlers.... Uh huh... And how much did it cost tae make?... Aboot a fiver? How much dae ye think ye could sell it fur?... About a fiver? Well Dougie, I jist dinnae see how that is going tae make us rich... Bonnie though it is. Folk are jist no needing MDF moose heids, cartoonesque or otherwise. No' even at Christmas? I thocht I could knock a few o' them up... What? The traditional Christmas moose? What are ye talking aboot man? What's thae big things? Reindeer are ye meaning? Aye... Well I suppose ye could ay gi'e it's nose a splodge o' red paint. Well at least I'm no' jist sitting here gi'eing ma nails a splodge o' varnish... Dinnae you be yaising that tone o' voice wae me, Dougie MacDonald. I've bugger all tae dae. If you dinnae work, I dinnae work it's as simple as that. I made a moose heid... I mean real work. When did ye last dae any real work? When did ye last pit a kitchen in for onybody? Or box in a bath, or pit up a shelf even...? Aye, I suppose... No' for ages. Thing is Jessie, folk dinnae need joiners like they used tae. No us independent lads anyway. Ken who I blame? Ikea. Noo a'body thinks they're a jiner just cos they can put some Ikea flat pack the gither... Here, maybe I could make flat pack self assembly moose heids? Forget the moose hieds, Dougie. The moose heid idea is a bummer. It's deid in the water... I like yer prototype, it's fine, ye can pit it up in the bathroom, if ye can mind how tae dae it


Barry Robertson:


That was a short excerpt of subcontract, which is brought to you by the grey hill, which is available internationally on iTunes, audible and Amazon. Im now with, the actors have to play Lucy Goldie and John Scougall. Hi guys. How are you?


Lucy Goldie:


Hi there. We're really well, thank you. How are you doing?


Barry Robertson:


I'm good thanks, for those listening . Can you tell us more about this production of subcontract and importantly the characters that you play?


Lucy Goldie:


Yes, absolutely. So I play Jessie and John, plays. Dougie. And, em, the play is so it's a couple in the Highlands and Dougie's , a joiner and his wife Jessie, em, helps out. She does the admin side of things,


John Scougall:


Not a receptionist though,


Lucy Goldie:


Not a receptionist. She's not happy to be called a receptionist. So basically, without giving too much away, we have a visitor to the house and they don't, they don't get too many visitors. They don't actually get too many contracts at all. They have this visitor turn up and, it's quite a shock for both of them. What, he offers,


Barry Robertson:


When you first read the script, what attracted you both to your characters that you play?


John Scougall:


Yeah, I mean, in terms of, of my character, I found, the whole rating, just hilarious. I find it very, a kind of nice humor. You know, there's, there's a lot of, um, human thats portrayed and, and new film and television and audio at the moment, that's making fun of someone else or something else. But I just, I just really like this. Um, the, the way that this was written in the, it was, it was kind of laughing at itself. Um, you know, the character Dougie himself, he was a fun character to play. He was a bit of a, a lumix of a lad a bit of a dunderhead as they might say in Scotland. Um, and for me that was something that really kind of drew me to the, to the character, just to have about fun, especially, you know, what's going on in the world right now. It's always nice to have fun and, and, and play a bit of comedy.


Lucy Goldie:


Yeah, straight, away when I read it, I was really taken by the rhythm of the text. I just thought it was really, really, well-written really funny and very nice back and forward kind of rapport between the two characters. And, um, I just thought they were, they were really, really endearing characters. They're, they're a little bit Tweedledum and Tweedledee, neither of them really know for what's going on and neither have any business acumen really. And, um, so it's, yeah, they're really, really sweet. And it was really fun to play those characters. Jessie thinks she wears the trousers. Do you know? She kind of, I suppose she does, out of her and Doogie, but that doesn't really mean much, you know, she's um, she's pretty clueless and yeah, there was just lots of really nice moments in the piece. It's lovely.


Barry Robertson:


Subcontract highlights some political conversation in its themes. What are your thoughts on the production?


Lucy Goldie:


I suppose, with anything, regardless of it being comedy and it being quite light-hearted, and there is a bit of a political undercurrent to the piece. And, I think, I think that will appeal to the Scottish audience. Actually,


John Scougall:


It's an interesting way to do it, to have such a political kind of tool that trident and, and the submarines are, but, but to make a, to make it very, very funny. And I think, I think when it comes down to it, that's really what the play is about as this sort of really warm feel-good piece, which I think the writer has done absolutely beautifully.


Lucy Goldie:


I think that's, I think that's the thing that the Scott's like to kind of make light of things and have a laugh at themselves too. And there's definitely a fair bit of that.


John Scougall:


He's done really well, of making the, making the statements he would like to make. And I think that's, I think that's Testament to the writing.


Barry Robertson:


I don't know about you, but this piece made me think of similar pieces , like chewin the fat, one foot in the grave, but also had a lovely balance of comedy and asking you at the same time about the cost of a nuclear submarine. Does that make sense?


Lucy Goldie:


Yeah, yeah, absolutely. It's got that kind of humor to it, I would say. And I think you're right. I think there was a lot of there's a lot of, there are a lot of visual gags and there actually, obviously it's audio, but I think you hopefully get a sense of that over the audio and it kind of, well, we'll bring it into the minds eye of the listener. but yeah, there were lots of it. It was putting me in, into faulty towers in some ways as well, the kind of relationship between them. And of course, of course there's the moose head sketch in that, the, there was a lot of kind of visual, visual gags in there that I think it would be really interesting to see it live on stage as well.


Barry Robertson:


Lucy, John, what were your favourite parts in the play?


Lucy Goldie:


My favourite moment was, it's probably when the phone rings near the start because I think they're both talking about business and how to build the business and what they're going to do and what he's been making and, and then the phone rings and the fact they don't answer it. I just think it's a gorgeous moment because I think the audience just go what on earth? This is so surreal and straight away it kind of, it says an awful lot about those characters and equally when the visitor arrives and the, the government official when he arrives. I think that was just gorgeous. Dougie has a really lovely moment in that. And, but for Jessie, certainly from my point of view, playing that just the way the character changes, she's got a certain face for visitors. She's trying to be very hospitable and put a face on things, but, yeah, I really enjoyed playing that bet.


John Scougall:


Yeah. I think for me, I think that that moment with the official arrives and the, eh, the kind of blurt from Dougie was one of my favourites. I really do enjoy the part where he's not quite, not quite getting the situation, when the discussing, you know, what the, what are the materials for the submarine on the, the, the weight off it and how it's all going to work. I quite enjoy the, you know, the innocence of him when he just doesn't quite grasp the, the situation and what would be nice to do. Yeah. They're just so clueless. Aren't they in it's very sweet. You know, let's laugh at the let's laugh at the Highlanders. It was nothing to do with, you know, nothing to do with that. It was just a really kind innocence, which I thought was really beautifully done.


Barry Robertson:


My favourite part was the beginning of the play about the moose heads and that it would never sell. And then at the end, my character buys the thing, Oh my goodness!


Lucy Goldie:


I'm really going to a tail. I thought that was lovely.


John Scougall:


There is a future in moose heads after all.


Barry Robertson:


Who's the audience for subcontract is there something for everyone?


John Scougall:


I mean, I think so. Maybe not like toddlers and stuff like that. I was probably a bit advance for them. No, I think it is. I think it's a, I think it's just a really, you know, nice, funny feel-good audio. You know, that you can, the listen to you and enjoy. And I think that thinking about in terms of my family and, and who is enjoy it, I think, you know, from like my younger cousins to my grandparents, I think it's something that's, got something for everyone. and I think that's, again, a Testament to the writer for doing it. He's not, he's not alienating in my mind, anyone, at all, apart from toddlers, they should've made it more toddler focused perhaps, but,


Lucy Goldie:


They like the moose heads,


John Scougall:


They like the moose heads then again the visual gags, you know, that if you could get that done in person. Um but yeah, I don't know, about you Lucy, but I think it, I think it certainly could appeal to everyone.


Lucy Goldie:


I think so. And I, I think, I mean, there, there are some gags in there that maybe are a Scottish audience will find particularly funny, but I do think it's got a universal humor to it. And actually I think people out with of Scotland could really enjoy the kind of culture of it and the language, and to learn a bit more about Scotland as well, and about the sense of humour the rhythm of the way people speak and, and the tape of, you know, the, the kind of camaraderie that, that a we have. but I think that, yeah, I think that the, the humour has got a universal quality. Actually. I really do. I think that people could enjoy it really anywhere in the world.


John Scougall:


What about yourself Barry what did you think?


Barry Robertson:


I thought it reminded me of the Scottish TV show still game. Like it wasn't as bad as say Rab C Nesbitt where you would need subtitles to understand it if you were watching outside of Scotland. But I think if you live out of Scotland, say you are an expat listening to this production. You'll instantly fall in love with it because it remind you of the uniqueness of our comedy and humour, and it will get you longing to be back home. Like if you were in London setting on the underground listening to this, it will instantly remind you of your last visit to Scotland.


Lucy Goldie:


Yeah. I mean, it's, it's a lovely sense of location, but equally it could, those characters could kind of be anywhere. Do you know what? I think people can relate to them and, and enjoy them regardless of where you are in the world, but I know what you mean, get that podcast on as you're driving up,


John Scougall:


Up through Glen Coe.


Lucy Goldie:


Yeah. Lovely.


Barry Robertson:


Every time, I listen to the production listening to both of you. I thought to myself, I love to see this on stage. What are your thoughts on this?


Lucy Goldie:


I think it would work so well because as we were seeing with these kinds of visual gags, I, I would, I would, I'd love to, I'd love to play it. I think it would be so enjoyable for the actor playing it. And I think, yeah, I just think there's so much in that I can't, I can visualize all which makes it such a successful audio piece. Hopefully it works really well on the audio, but I think like the moment you've got Dougie blurting out to, you know, when the visitor arrives then he faints and then she's kicking them and, you know, there's all sorts of things written in there that would be really fun to play. And I think would be really funny for an audience to watch as well.


John Scougall:


I mean, there's certainly a lot of similarities to that. What can I John Burns writing you know, slab boys, Trilogy where there's a lot of Slap stick and a lot of, a lot of humor, but then, you know, what, what I think would, what really well with the piece and then I'm not too sure. I remember chatting about when we maybe I'm jumping ahead of the game here, but chatting about it when we were doing it about to, you know, potentially be more than a one night. You know, I like the, I like the idea of doing what John Burn does very beautifully in everything he does. I'm a massive fan of his, which is to bring out, you know, to, to balance out the humour with, with a little bit of sadness about disappointment, which I think which was some of the play, acts and some of of of the audio that we've done does have that. But I think, I think that when I was reading it, when I was kind of doing it, it definitely reminds me a lot of kind of slab boys kind of theatre.


Lucy Goldie:


Yeah. I would love to see more of these characters. I think that would be, that would be great. Wouldn't it?


Barry Robertson:


Thank you for listening to part one of our interview with the cast and creative team of Bob Davidson's subcontract brought to you by the Grey hill for more information on 'subcontract' and The Grey Hill visit the website, www.thegreyhill.com. Look out for part two shortly as we continue our conversations with the cast and creative team, including Bob Davidson himself on what made him decide to write this wonderful piece of audio theatre.


Part two is released Tuesday 8th December 9pm GMT

Transcripts of all Grey Hill podcasts will be exclusive to members only


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