The Govan Cat

The Govan Cat tells the story of The Widow Watt and her son, Robbie who run the Cosy Inn near Govan Cross. As the City of Glasgow begins to exert its control over the newly acquired burgh, the Cosy Inn seems under threat due to the new regulations. Their main problem seems to be a sudden infestation of rats which threatens them with closure just as the Christmas celebrations are about to begin. Will they evade the puritanical scrutiny of the self-righteous kill-joy, Baillie Drybone? Can no-one save them from the growing plague of rats that seem to have set up home in the cellar? Is there a darker force at work? All this and a smattering of magic and music weave together to spin a tale of Seasonal Shenanigans set right here in the centre of Govan.

Centred on the Cosy Inn, the show begins with a sing-song, with musicians and dancers played by local performers. Widow Watt and her son Robbie are loved by all the regulars but perhaps her soup leaves something to be desired. The regulars are all played by locals. Baillie Drybone is intent on closing the ‘Den of Iniquity’ but his daughter is attracted to Robbie. The young couple share a stolen moment at the end of the working day and assure each other all will be well. The Rats arrive! The rats are played by younger members of local dance groups. It becomes apparent that this plague is orchestrated by a malevolent force intent on revenge and destruction – The Rat Queen states her evil intent in a musical number with increasing numbers of choreographed rats. Widow Watt, Robbie and the regulars contemplate a Christmas without their beloved local when suddenly a tough street cat appears and chases the rats away. It is clear that this is their saviour and they make a deal with the feline. The Cat is played by local award winning dancers, Karson and Kiara Ross on alternate nights. The deal is made within a first act closing number featuring the regulars, the central cast, musicians and dancers.

The second act opens with another musical number and raises the mood and the hope that all will be well…however, The Baillie, under the influence of The Rat Queen makes clear his intentions to report the Inn to the city authorities and have the place closed. As Robbie, Elsie and the cat slip away to make their plans, Widow Watt distracts Baillie Drybone with a cup of her new-recipe soup. A certain someone may just have laced this batch with a certain something. The Baillie and Widow share an increasingly hilarious scene of befuddlement, soul-baring and misplaced bonhomie. Meanwhile the evil Rat Queen steps up her plans for domination but as she assembles her horde to wreak havoc, suddenly she becomes aware of the sound of mewling. From all sides. Is help at hand? Can she be stopped? Can Christmas be saved? Will the ensuing massive dance routine answer any of these questions?

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