Edinburgh’s Ruaraidh Murray on his Bath Time show

Ruaraidh Murray. Picture complimentary
Ruaraidh Murray. Picture complimentary
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RUARAIDH Murray made his acting debut at the age of ten in the Channel 4 series Brond. He later went on to appear in a series of Farmfoods adverts - “Remember them....” he laughs. Then he gave up.

“I just wanted to be a normal boy when I was young. I just wanted to muck about with my mates,” he says.

With a turn of phrase like that, there’s no doubting Murray’s Edinburgh roots.

Brought up in Stockbridge, where he attended the local primary school before moving up to Broughton High, the 37-year-old is currently starring in his second solo Fringe show, Bath Time, at the Gilded Balloon.

Like his first one-man show, last year’s Big Sean, Mikey and Me, the piece draws heavily on his early days in the Capital for its characters.

Described as a darkly comic piece set in gangland Edinburgh, 1996, the play tells of three childhood friends - Spike, Joe Joe and Billy - who take part in a robbery that goes wrong. Who can trust who? And whose turn is it for Bath Time..?

“It is a work of fiction but it all comes from my experiences of growing up in Edinburgh and is very loosely based on some of the guys I grew up with - the characters that were on the city’s clubbing scene in the 90s,” says the actor, who returned to acting at the age of 21.

Clubbing for Murray and his mates meant nights at Tribal Funktion at The Venue, on Calton Road.

“There’s even a scene in Bath Time set there,” reveals the actor who has worked with the likes of Bond star Daniel Craig and Ray Winstone.

Bath Time follows the success of Big Sean, Mikey and Me, which enjoyed a sell-out run at the Gilded Balloon in 2012.

“That was about my imaginary friend Sean Connery, but also about my childhood pal Mikey, who very sadly passed away,” says the now London-based actor.

“As soon as I finished it I started working on this one. I’m very much still in touch with Edinburgh through my family and mates. So a lot of my past is still with me, and those are the experiences I write about.

“I am writing about the city and locals recognise that, which is paying off because a big majority of my audience are local.” Meanwhile, his mates are debating which of the characters are based on them.

“It’s funny, because I’ve already had some of them saying, ‘That’s me isn’t it?’ That cracks me up,” laughs Murray, whose TV credits include Sea of Souls, Dalziel and Pascoe and Bob Servant Independent.

“The Billy character in Bath Time is loosely based on the Mikey character from the first and they recognised him straight away, but the other characters... they’re all fighting over who is who.”

The good news for Murray’s fans is that he’s planning a third play for next year.

“There’s definitely something there, on the back burner, cooking away... maybe about one of the guys I grew up with. One character keeps resurfacing...”

But that’s all he’ll say, for now.

Bath Time, Gilded Balloon, Teviot Wee Room, until 26 August, 3.15pm, £10, 0131-226 0000