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Theatre Review: News Just In, Arches, Glasgow

Three stars

The Commonwealth athletes only have to run their marathon once. Random Accomplice, however, have (as part of Festival 2014) challenged themselves to keep up with events on, and off, the track by running a rolling news show. night after night, until the last punch is thrown in the boxing, the final dive heads pool-wards - or until August 2, if you're not au fait with the list of fixtures - News Just In will spoof, subvert and, in a humorously skew-whiff way, celebrate the Games from a mock-up newsroom that's a glitzy-glitter home to Tartan Tonight.

Episode one, aired on Tuesday, did have hurdles to clear however. Norovirus outbreaks aside, the competitive running hadn't started yet. Did this leave our funsters lost for words? With Johnny McKnight rostered as lead writer, you must be joking.

For the most part the cast used this opening hour to establish their media stereotypes, replete with nippy bitching and self-important whining inbetween sabotaging their fellow presenters. All fiction, surely? Tee-hee-hee: snide but tinged with the kind of familiar tokenism we do see on our screens.

McKnight's weatherman in a sugary-pink shorts suit is the token gay, Rosalind Sydney is the token newbie, a supposedly naive teuchter from the islands, their presence ticking those equality/inclusivity boxes with the same knowing tongue-in-cheek style as on-screen anchors, Delta (Julie Brown, a steely Barbie) and Fergus (Jordan young, all mouth and boasting innuendo).

Gavin Jon Wright and Julie Wilson Nimmo are the other team players ready to juggle roles and contribute anarchy to the mix of sketches, monologues and video inserts created by daily by different writers. Let the Games, and pun-upmanship begin!

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