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Trouble in the Tollbooth
Trouble in the Tollbooth
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Big Sean, Mikey and Me

Ruaraidh Murray

Ruaraidh Murray

EDINBURGH actor Ruaraidh Murray returns home this Festival next month with his brand new one-man show, Big Sean, Mikey and Me, at the Gilded Balloon.

It’s the story of an out of work actor - Ruaraidh - who, with the help of his imaginary friend Big Sean Connery, tries to survive disastrous auditions and dates with girls.

Also joining him in his adventures is Ruaraidh’s childhood pal and rough diamond Mikey, who holds court with Ruaraidh from his prison cell and comes to life in tales from their shared Edinburgh past, including Hibs boy’s, sadomasochistic Irish girls, American randoms, London metrosexual weirdos and wee radge Edinburgh wide-os.

Written by 36-year-old Murray (pictured below) and described as a dark comedy with a heart, Big Sean, Mikey and Me already boasts a fan in Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh, who called it “a slice of true Edinburgh class”.

Murray, who grew up in Stockbridge, attending Stockbridge Primary and Broughton High, has appeared in Richard Jobson’s feature film New Town Killers, which was set in the Capital, BBC’s Sea of Souls, Dalziel and Pascoe, The Bill and Channel 4’s Sword of Honour.

Gilded Balloon, August 1-27, 1.30pm, £5-£10,



CHOOSING a play for their tenth year on the Fringe proved a challenge for the 2010 Evening News Drama Award winners Saughtonhall Drama Group.

They wanted to stage something local but that would appeal to a wider Fringe audience. Luckily, director Morag Simpson recalled once performing the first act of a Scots comedy called Trouble in the Tolbooth by Edinburgh-based William Maconachie.

“This play captured my attention as it has all the ingredients I believe local amateur drama groups seek to bring to the Fringe,” she explains, adding,

“It presents an enjoyable show for local people and visitors alike.’

Set in the late 18th century, all the action takes place in one of the male cells in the tolbooth. When escape plans by the female and male prisoners cross, not only do their tunnels become entangled but so to do the lives of five of the inmates.

Prisoner Jamie (John Webster) is unexpectedly visited by his wife (Ishbel Shand), at a time when he’d prefer her not to be there. He’d rather new prisoner (Murray Petrie), a grave robber with principles wasn’t there either.

Then there are the two escaping female prisoners, played by Betty Meston and Sarah Howley. Trying to keep order in the tolbooth is the apparently incompetent jailer (Scott Kerr). Completing the cast is Fraser Baxter as bungling escapee Thomas.

Using the language of the late 1700s the play is in native Scots.

Check it out and help Saughtonhall celebrate their anniversary on the Fringe.

Saughtonhall United Reformed Church, Saughtonhall Drive, August 6-10, 7.30pm (Saturday matinee 2.30pm), £7,