Celebrate a pair of comedy icons in Motherwell

Liam Dolan and Johnny Mac are sure to make you laugh as Francie and Josie Pic: Mike Scott
Liam Dolan and Johnny Mac are sure to make you laugh as Francie and Josie Pic: Mike Scott

Celebrate two Scottish comedy legends as the Francie and Josie Sketchbook comes to Motherwell Theatre later this month.

Liam Dolan and Johnny Mac have been paying tribute to the late Jack Milroy and Rikki Fulton’s famous characters since 1997 after receiving the the seal of approval from Milroy’s widow Mary Lee and Fulton himself.

After more than two decades of recreating some of Francie and Josie’s most famous routines the duo have decided to mix things up and are adding sketches to the show inspired by the now lost STV show from the 1960s.

Francie and Josie will also be joined by a number of special guests, including a certain man of the cloth, as they make their Motherwell debut on Thursday, February 27.

Johnny, who plays Josie, said: “We’ve been trying to play Motherwell for a long time, but the diary just never seemed to suit so we are delighted to finally be coming.

“After not performing the show in 2019 we decided to see how we could refresh it for a new year and give the audience a new experience.

“Due to unfortunate decisions by the TV industry at the time not to keep archives it is impossible to watch the old Francie and Josie sketch shows so we are trying to produce a flavour of them.

“The sketches aren’t necessarily those that Jack and Rikki performed, but they are ones we feel Francie and Josie could have done – in addition it allows our guests the St Andrew’s Sisters to do more than just their turn and our director Andrew Agnew also pops up in various guisies.

“It has been good, if hard work, learning a lot of new material, but no one needs to worry we’ll still be doing the classic like ‘At the Dancing’ and the ‘Arbroath joke’.”

In addition Johnny will be donning the collar of the Rev I M Jolly.

He said: “I had started doing the Rev David Goodchild and it went down really well so we decided it was time for the more famous of Rikki’s ministerial characters to join the cast.

“Liam has his solo moments as Francie with the likes of ‘Hudacurry’ and ‘My Love’ so as the Rev I M Jolly it gives me a moment in the spotlight.

“It’s nice to be able to give a nod to Scotch and Wry and there are so many classic characters that we could perhaps look at in the future.”

The show starts at 7.30pm and tickets costing £23 (concession £22) are available by calling 01698 403120 or visiting www.culturenl.co.uk.