Well Thumbed in Wigtown.  The unseasonal sun was shining in Dumfries and Galloway. The spirits of Robert the Bruce and Robbie Burns shimmered and shimmied in the party atmosphere. Wigtown Book Festival time!

Upstairs in the Book Shop  in Wigtown is where the authors (and performers) retreat. There, a charming photographer asked for a favourite word on his blackboard. I should, perhaps, have written Well Thumbed. Don’t blame me for being a nincumpoop. The resultant image was to form part of a display of festival folk. Here it is:


My mum used to call me a ‘nincumpoop’. I know, spellcheck spells it ‘nincompoop’. Capt. Francis Grose defined it as ‘a man who has never seen his wife’s private parts’. Something like that. & so, Notional Theatre arrived in Scotland.

Well Thumbed played to about 30 people who laughed a lot. The stage was small and the borrowed armchair was beautiful. More or less the same show as Cardiff but different, tweaked and more confident – & the autoharp died!


Back home the pretty way to a couple of pretty good reviews of the first night. I mean they’re not bad at all; critical but more than respectable; a really good start for a show that is not even planned to open until next year. (Honestly, I have given much worse reviews to really good shows that have had time to run in.) My favourite quote in the reviews is one you can bet will be  highlighted on the posters –

‘A show, I imagine, that would have Mary Whitehouse spinning in her chastity belt.’

One thing though. Both reviews draw a comparison with Brian Blessed. Why?


I can’t see it myself.

Although, to be fair, I was at the Mill at Sonning Theatre recently to see a friend in a play that Brian Blessed had directed. I was sat in my seat, minding my own business, when the man sitting alongside leant over and said, ‘Brian?’

Anyway, now the real work begins. Making Well Thumbed all it can be. So, sorry ‘n’ all that but that’ll be the last from this blog for a wee while.

Oh & don’t worry about the autoharp – it’s under guarantee. It will be back.


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