Episode 5: The Vultures by Christopher Patrick


Mary and her daughter Julie haven’t spent a lot of time together in a while. Mary thought they were becoming estranged, while Julie just thinks her mother is strange.

However, in an attempt to bond with her daughter and carry out one of her favourite past times, party-crashing, Mary has the perfect fix….. who needs to go to the movies when you can crash a funeral?

Tupperware’s never been so bad. 

The Vultures is the second episode of the first series that I wrote about two funeral crashing pensioners, Mary & June. It’s a short little comedy about these mischievous Grannies, and tackles everything from life, death, QVC & dead vegetarians. I first got the idea when taking part in the Scottish Youth Theatre’s Young Writers Programme. Elaine C Smith came in to talk to us, and I remember thinking how I’d love to write a character for her voice and that’s when Mary & June started to take shape – one day hopefully Elaine C Smith will play one of them! Although I’m over the moon with Kirsty Strain and Karen Bartke’s performance.

I wrote it a little in the mould of Still Game, taking inspiration from Jack & Victor’s friendship and making them decidiely more wicked and morally questionable than those two characters. I actually really love these two characters of Mary & June; they’ve become fast friends with me as a writer and I would love to keep revisiting them and seeing what other stories I can tell with them at the centre. It was an odd one to write, whilst first and foremost it’s a funny play, the writing is deeply rooted in loss and as a result has a real emotional backbone - I was laughing whilst writing one page and balling my eyes out the next. It allowed me to write about grief, about losing a family member, and dealing with and processing that, but it also gave me the opportunity to write two very funny characters with a newfound zest for life and a devil may care attitude. Man, I love Mary & June!