FOLLOWING the success of a sitcom on STV, Dirty Water is returning is to the stage with an anticipated new play as part of the Glasgow International Comedy Festival (GICF).

Set in a Glasgow housing scheme, Dirty Water follows a team of misfit cleaners.

The new show, titled The Inspection, sees the team contracted by the council to clean the landings and stairways of the high flats and tenement buildings but after a mounting number of complaints, the team will undergo an inspection.

Originally debuting in 2012 as a theatre production, the show is written and produced by John Stuart, who also stars as Jock.

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He says he is "super excited" to bring the show back in front of a live audience following the TV series.

"There’s nothing quite like performing live because anything can happen and there’s always something, somewhere that goes wrong," he says.

"Rehearsals have already been such fun."

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Dirty Water was released on STV in March 2023 and John credits its success with helping them be able to bring their new show to a venue as large as The Pavilion Theatre after thinking they would have to end the production.

He said: "It’s been quite a journey.

"It’s the TV series that has really allowed us to do this.

"Initially when it was a theatre show, we started in small art centres and did really well and for years we were trying to build it up to get it into venues such as the Pavilion and the King’s.

"In 2016/17 we started to get the attention of the bigger theatres and they liked it but at that time they told us we would need to recast it and we wouldn’t be able to sell the bigger venues without somebody recognisable in it.

"So, I thought that was the end of it and then fortunately the opportunity came around to make the episodes and then cause of the episodes we get to go back to doing theatre together."

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The idea for Dirty Water was originally developed when John was at film school in London.

He created it alongside Robert O’Donnell, who plays Bob, who was working for a cleaning company at the time.

John explained: "This is based on a real cleaning company in Glasgow and two of my other friends were working for that same cleaning company.

"When I was at film school my mentor said I should think about TV ideas and long story short Bob came up with the idea I could write a TV show on the cleaning company that he worked for.

"So, we would talk on the phone and share ideas and we would write ideas before I was even trained in screenwriting.

"I wrote a pilot and a pitch document and then when I left film school I didn’t have any contacts but I had a theatre background.

"At a networking event, we tested two scenes and when I saw the response from a live audience, I thought this could work as a play."

John says he thinks the show has resonated with audiences for more than a decade because "for the most part, it’s about friendship".

"It’s about the harsh love friends can give each other," he says.

"There’s a lot of banter, a lot of slagging each other, a lot of giving each other a hard time but when it’s most important you’re there for each other.

"It’s about things people really relate to and I think the show really captures that Scottish friendship and comedy vibe."

Dirty Water: The Inspection will be at The Pavilion Theatre from Thursday, March 14 to Saturday, March 16.

Tickets are priced two-for-one on Friday, March 15.