Well done, David MacLennan - awarded the Critics' Award for Theatre in Scotland (3 June 2012) for outstanding achievement. "David MacLennan and his production A Play, a Pie and a Pint scooped the award after presenting 250 plays in eight years." The Scotsman
One of the most interesting things to happen in the West End in recent years has been the introduction of Lunchtime Theatre, where you can go along in your lunch break to OranMor, conveniently located at the top of Byres Road, and enjoy A Play, a Pie and a Pint. The person behind this enjoyable, and highly successful venture, is David MacLennan. Inspired by The Pool Lunchtime Theatre which ran in Edinburgh in the 1970s and more recently by a visit to Bewleys Caf Theatre in Dublin, he saw an opportunity for a similar venture in Glasgows West End. It has taken off brilliantly.
Davids name is associated with many innovative and imaginative theatrical projects in the past and he has been involved in the initiation and development of some of Scotlands most interesting theatrical ventures. He worked with both 7:84 Theatre Company and Wildcat Stage Productions, putting politics onto the theatrical agenda and taking plays to far flung communities often bereft of cultural events. David formed a firm alliance with Dave Anderson, using his talents as actor, writer and director. He was a key player in the ambitious Clyde Theatre development in Clydebank, sadly lost when it was knocked down to be replaced by new housing. He was also, together with Feri Lean, responsible for the introduction of Glasgows Mayfest.
Prolific in his writing he is probably best known for The Celtic Story - although he laughingly points out that possibly his greatest claim to fame is that his wife Juliet Cadzow is Edie McCredie in the popular childrens show Balamory.
His long career in showbiz has provided the perfect background and networking opportunities to draw on in his latest role as producer of A Play, A Pie and A Pint. The venture began in Autumn, 2004, with a series of 12 plays , which included plays from many well kent Scottish writers such as William McIvanney, Peter McDougall, Dave Anderson, Chris Dolan and comedian Greg Hemphill. He points out that there is a huge pool of talent to draw on and his links with the BBC and contacts within the world of theatre and television are very useful. David also introduced some new faces introducing some Irish talent with three plays from Bewleys . For some of the writers a new challenge was presented as this was their first attempt at playwrighting . All in all, the Autumn plays were a tremendous success - I managed along to see some of the plays and had a great time. The writing, performances and production were high in quality and played to full and happy houses.
David is now gearing up for the second series, which will start on 21st February, he will be including some of those writers previously involved such as Dave Anderson, William McIvanney and Peter McDougall and Steve Plant, one of the Irish writers. He will also be including ten new writers for the Spring series with contributions from Jackie Kay and Liz Lochhead and also, amongst others, young writers such as Gowan Calder.
Although the organisation of the productions is very demanding, David is having a great time and is full of enthusiasm for the project. He is also finding a little time to do some acting, and I spotted him recently in Taggart and he's also writing some poetry. He is charming, calm and capable and seems to be having the time of his life working with theatrical buddies old and new.
Pat Byrne, February, 2005
A Play, A Pie and A Pint It's a most enjoyable way of 'doing lunch'.