Star Wars fan gets phonecall from Princess Leia

WHEN Star Wars fan Brian McGeachan watched Princess Leia on the big screen as a child, he never dreamt he would receive a personal phone call from her more than 20 years later.

But after sending a copy of his new play to her Beverly Hills office, the 29-year-old picked up his phone at home in Haddington to hear a strangely familiar voice on the other end of the line.

Hollywood legend Carrie Fisher is now considering taking up the lead role in his new play about Glasgow-born jazz singer Annie Ross.

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The play, called Twisted: the Annie Ross Story, is to premiere at a London theatre later this month.

When he met his screen heroine, Ms Fisher, at a Star Wars convention last year, he noticed the striking resemblance between her and Ms Ross.

On a whim, he posted her a copy of his script at home in Los Angeles. Just three months later, he received a personal phone call from her telling him she loved the script.

She has asked her agent to watch the play at the Space Theatre in Canary Wharf, London, with a view to the Star Wars star appearing in a future performance of the one-woman show - in London, New York or Los Angeles.

The current run, which starts on July 25, stars actress Verity Quade, who appeared in the BBC TV version of Jerry Springer the Opera.

Mr McGeachan said: "I had already written the show and knew that Carrie Fisher was not only an accomplished actress, but a best-selling author. I knew if the writing appealed to her, then I was in with a chance.

"She said to me, 'Kid, you've certainly done your homework'."

He added: "Like all film buffs of my age, I sat in the cinema as a kid, transfixed at her performances in the Star Wars epics.

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"Since then I've admired her more sophisticated roles in movies like Woody Allen's Hannah and Her Sisters."

He said if Fisher, 50, agrees to play the part, the play will be performed either in London, New York or near the actress' home in LA.

He said: "If she does agree to star in the show, it will be her choice where and when. Would you argue with Carrie Fisher?"

Ms Fisher, who is the daughter of film star Debbie Reynolds, has publicly discussed her problems with drugs and mental illness bi-polar disorder.

Mr McGeachan initially approached Annie Ross herself to play the part, but was told that although she gave the play her backing, she did not want to appear in it.

The journalist first became interested in the life of Annie Ross, the sister of TV and theatre star Jimmy Logan, as a jazz-obsessed teenager.

After seeing the blues singer in concert, he began to research her life.

It tells the story of the singer and actress' troubled childhood, drug addiction and affair with American comedian Lenny Bruce. Ms Ross was born in Glasgow, but moved to the US when she was four years old.

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After writing the play, Mr McGeachan met American theatre director Joseph C Walsh in London and they worked on the current production.