Tag Archives: Andy Gray

NEWS: Crowd-funder campaign to support spoof documentary FOH (Front of House) filming at King’s Theatre Edinburgh

CROWDFUNDER CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED TO MAKE NEW EPISODES OF SPOOF DOCUMENTARY ‘FOH’.

Tom Read Wilson, Harriet Thorpe, Grant Stott and Andy Gray join the cast of mockumentary series ‘FOH’, filmed at the iconic King’s Theatre Edinburgh.

FOH, the spoof documentary that charts the ups and downs of life working front of house in a theatre has started a Crowdfunder campaign to make three brand new episodes featuring a starstudded cast. Edinburgh writer and director Andrew Dyer filmed the pilot for FOH two years ago which quickly gained over 50,000 views online and developed a strong fan base.

The show was inspired by his time working front of house in London and at the King’s and Festival Theatres in Edinburgh. On how the pilot came to be:  “Working front of house is a great place for people watching as the audiences are completely different from one show to the next and there is always a brilliant mix of staff working. Over the years I started to take note of funny situations that would happen and characters that stood out and it seemed only natural that a fly on the wall comedy was the best way to share some of them!”

Dyer is an Edinburgh native, he studied acting at Queen Margaret University before training at the Royal Academy of Music in London. He turned his hand to writing and directing comedy in 2014 where he developed his first Edinburgh Fringe show with comedy partner Michelle Whitney who he met while studying at RAM. (Whitney also features in ‘FOH’ as Linda the Front of House Manager.)

The pilot proved so popular that he has decided to create more episodes, with some famous faces now joining the original cast, and is turning to crowdfunding where they need to raise £8,000 to make three short episodes. “We made our pilot on basically zero budget and pulled in a lot of favours to do so and as proud as we are of our pilot we are not able to produce more episodes in the same circumstances. We want to pay for our professional cast and crew as well as cover the various production expenses so any donations made would be greatly appreciated but even just a ‘like’ and ‘share’ to spread the word will go a long way!”

‘Celebs Go Dating’ star Tom Read Wilson is the latest to join the line up of star cameos that includes Harriet Thorpe (‘Absolutely Fabulous’, ‘The Brittas Empire’) and King’s Theatre panto stars, Andy Gray and Grant Stott. 

The King’s where ‘FOH’ is filmed (but not set) is an Edinburgh institution and has been welcoming audiences since 1906. The new episodes will be made in advance of the theatre’s major redevelopment in 2021.

You can find out more about ‘FOH’ and make a donation by visiting: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/foh-the-mockumentary.

The original episode can be viewed on their Facebook page: https:// http://www.facebook.com/fohthemockumentary

“If you’re a theatre fan I hope you will enjoy ‘FOH’ but I also hope that anyone who has ever worked a customer service job can relate to the people in the show or recognise similar situations they’ve experienced!”

REVIEW: Kiss Me Honey, Honey – Motherwell Theatre, Motherwell

Kiss-Me-Honey-Honey-Image-1-1024x516

This article was originally written for and published  by The Public Reviews at:

http://www.thepublicreviews.com/kiss-me-honey-honey-motherwell-theatre-motherwell/

Writer: Philip Meeks

Director: Sam  Kane

The Public Reviews Rating: ★★★½☆

A Gilded Balloon commission for this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Philip Meeks’ Kiss Me Honey, Honey is on the surface a farcical romp about the lives of two single middle aged men, reduced to living in less than salubrious digs, who bond over a mutual appreciation of Shirley Bassey and a desperate desire for love. But as with all of Meeks’ work it masks a deeper, much sadder and sadly resonant tale of loneliness and the perils of dating in the digital age.

This amiable two hander plays out for the most part like an episode of a risqué 1970′s sitcom: there’s innuendo, female impersonation, in-jokes and misunderstandings a-plenty. There’s also more than a whiff of the panto about the whole endeavour, deftly handled by both Andy Gray, as recently divorced Ross and Grant Stott as naive dating newbie Graham. Gray is well known as a comedy actor and it is no surprise that he elicits the biggest belly-laughs from the crowd, but it is Stott that is the revelation here, usually seen as the pantomime villain, his finely tuned portrayal of the innocent Graham displays an up until now unseen dramatic talent.

There is an undeniable rapport between the two actors, honed over years as stalwarts of the Edinburgh pantomime scene and they manage to wring every last laugh from the material. However, the comedy is broad and the jokes too obvious, and whilst they elicit laughs from the largely older audience, the 70′s sexism and (at times) misogyny, is a little hard to accept in the 21st century and lessens rather than heightens the impact of the more thoughtful moments of tragedy and reflection.

That said, its easy to forgive its faults and the mirth continued as the audience exited the venue. A funny but undemanding and somewhat old-fashioned evening’s entertainment, but it could have been so much more.

Reviewed on 13th October 2013 then touring.

Photo credit: Steve Ullathorne

REVIEW: I Dreamed a Dream, King’s Theatre, Glasgow

Elaine C. Smith’s starring role as the “inner voice” of Susan Boyle packs an emotional punch in this, her musical I Dreamed A Dream.

It certainly can’t be said that this is an uplifting tale of one of the “little people” and her glorious rise to stardom – be prepared to leave the theatre having seen an often depressing and heart-breaking story powerfully told. From oxygen depravation at birth, severe school bullying, over-protective parents demolishing her chance at love, to heartbreaking loss and her horrific treatment by the tabloids, it leaves no stone unturned in its telling. And it is all the better for it.

In returning home to Scotland, where this show’s language and cultural references have the most resonance, where the audience can draw direct parallels with their own up-bringings, it held the sold-out audience firmly in its grip from start to finish. There were moments when the audience, so in its thrall, were so silent you could hear a pin drop.

It would have been easy to tread lightly, to gloss over the rough patches but this is a braver story to tell and one which will leave a lasting impression on the audience of how the real story behind the show-biz sparkle isn’t as fairy tale like as we want or imagine it to be. And I hope it’s rapturous reception gives Susan Boyle some comfort from the life-time of heartache she has endured in its creation.