As you know from my incessant forwarding of tweets and videos, I’m a devoted fan of the comedian/writer/actor Janey Godley, whose 2020 voiceovers of Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s Covid-19 briefings have provided comic relief and solid advice in equal measure.
Godley also does hilarious voiceovers of animal videos—I promise you that Glasgow’s supposed squirrels, otters and beavers are the most reliable medicine around. Thanks to Janey Godley, my comprehension of the Glasgow accent and vocabulary has made great leaps forward. I know I didn’t laugh at anything in 2020 as much as I laughed at and with Janey Godley—except maybe with you at dumb things we did or said that we can no longer remember. (I’m grateful for every dumb thing that made us laugh. I mean, why are we here if not to laugh like loons?)
One of the things Janey Godley did in 2020 is very special. As part of the National Theatre of Scotland’s “Scenes for Survival” project, she wrote and performed in a series of four short video plays called Alone. In the series, Godley plays Betty, a Glasgow housewife. It starts out funny, sad, and a bit mysterious, and then it goes deep, and deftly, into the topic of coercive control, in this case by Betty’s husband of 40 years, Jim.
I’ve linked the first one up top, in which Godley appears alone, with just her “wee dug” Bobo (played by Godley’s real-life wee dug, Honey, who shows real range). In the three episodes that followed the first (all now on YouTube), a different actor appears on a Zoom call with Betty; each plays an important person in Betty’s life. Awareness dawns, as in real life, and keeps growing. It’s masterful.
I can’t wait to see what Janey Godley has in store this year.