Preview: Kiss Me Honey Honey

Andy Gray and Grant Stott. Pic: Comp
Andy Gray and Grant Stott. Pic: Comp
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AUDIENCES just can’t get enough of Ross and Graham, the two men of a certain age brought to life at last year’s Fringe by local panto legend Andy Gray and Forth One’s Grant Stott.

Having enjoyed a post Fringe tour at the end of last year the pair are back in their Kiss Me Honey Honey roles for a limited season at the Gilded Balloon, this week, due to public demand. It’s a ‘last chance to see’ them in Philip Meeks’ bitter-sweet comedy they insist.

Grant Stott admits to be surprised by the continuing popularity of Kiss Me Honey Honey.

“It has exceeded everything we set out to do,” he agrees.

“In the beginning we just wanted to do a play and hoped people would come and see us, but to sell out, win an award, tour and appear at The King’s Theatre was just nuts.

“The support we have received from our audiences since we started doing this has been fantastic. It’s great to see people’s reaction to seeing Andy and I do something so different to panto.”

The play tells the story of two men of a certain age who form an unlikely friendship through a shared love of Shirley Bassey. Together they begin a hilarious search for the women of their dreams, after their lives seem to have fallen apart.

Gray and Stott play the unlikely pals, as well as all the females in their lives.

Gray says, “I love Kiss Me Honey Honey because, apart from a wonderful script, and I have to say, a fantastic director in Sam Kane, I get the opportunity to work with my big china Grant.

“We are pals, and that’s really how this whole thing came about. After working for years in panto we decided we wanted, nay needed to do a play together.

“Our friendship actually creates a dimension in the piece too. The audience accept both of us and, I don’t want to give too much away, but when we fall out in the story there’s a feeling that the audience find it uncomfortable.

“Chiefly, it’s a joy to work with Grant, Sam and the wonderful Karen Koren, our producer. To get the chance to do it again is a great opportunity.”

Written by Philip Meeks, who also wrote the 2012 Gilded Balloon hit Murder, Marple and Me, Kiss Me Honey Honey is a fast-paced, hilarious, sometimes shambolic look at life, relationships and what it means to reach a more ‘mature’ stage in life and find you’re not where you thought you’d be.

Stott too, couldn’t wait to return to the piece. Reflecting on what it is about the character of Graham that makes you want to return to him again and again, he muses, “I love Graham because he was such a challenge to play; the polar opposite to the baddies I’ve been playing in panto. Graham is a very naïve, wide-eyed innocent who has had a pretty sheltered life when we meet him.

“I’m a great believer in doing things that scare you and, last year, playing Graham was it.

“This year my ‘scary moment’ came when I did my first ever solo 50-minute comedy set at Fringe by the Sea last weekend – that scared the living bejesus out of me but I loved every minute of it.

“Playing Graham this time won’t be so scary but revisiting him again has been a joy.”

• Kiss Me Honey Honey, Gilded Balloon, Teviot, tonight, Saturday & Sunday, until Sunday, various times £12.50, 0131-622 6552