Alan Bissett as Moira Bell in The Moira Monologues

The Moira Monologues

Falkirk. Or tae be mair exact, Fawkirk.

This is a sheer classic, and is both theatre and comedy, making a welcome return 8 years after its first appearance at the Fringe in 2010. And it's still fast, fresh and very funny.

The language is explicit lowland Scots, Fawkirk variety, and Bisset plays Moira Bell, a Falkirk cleaner, who is mouthy, opinionated and gloriously forthright. He also effortlessly inhabits memorable supporting characters, a Rottweiler to a night-club bouncer, with astonishing panache.

Moira's life, loves and troubles are outlined in a number of short, beautifully crafted episodes which, while comic and hugely amusing, are also elegiac and poignant. The pain and humiliation of being dumped over a fish supper, the existential despair as yet another Scotland football game ends in disappointment are a hard, and dark backdrop to hugely funny and tightly scripted comic monologue. The grind and pain of working class life is laid bare even as the audience guffaws and explodes with laughter.

Bisset plays Moira 'straight' with a male voice, but captures all the expressions and body language of Moira with ease - he inhabits the character both very easily and highly credibly.

This is a rare beast - a very very funny show, but one that has resonance and dark shadows that linger long after the laughter has faded away. Bisset draws Moira as a startlingly credible character, and the economy and pithy wit of his language soars. There are one-liners and put-downs that might have those with a weak bladder embarrassed by the end of the performance.

I highly recommend catching the sequel, More Moira Monologues, which starts just half an hour after this performance ends at 8pm, because Moira Bell is someone you certainly don't not want to get on the wrong side of, but someone you definitely want to hear more from.

Go to see this, and do see the sequel. You will absolutely love meeting Moira Bell.

★★★★★ 5 stars

Click to book tickets for this show
Scottish Storytelling Centre (Venue 30)
August 4-11, 6:30pm (1hr),  £11-13

Photo credit: Roza Nazipova

The Moira Monologues




Plus +

  • Very Funny
  • Very Scottish
  • Very Sweary

About David Petherick

David Petherick is the owner and publisher of and was born in, and lives, in Edinburgh. He is a writer, marketer and tweeter and is also a LinkedIn Profile Doctor. Follow @edinburghfest for festival news and updates and @petherick for personal news and views.

Have your say...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.