Edinburgh Fringe: Scottish Doctor Who Sylvester McCoy heading back to the Edinburgh Festival for premiere of new film

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Sylvester McCoy, the first Scottish Doctor Who, is set to return to the Edinburgh Fringe at the age of 78 to attend the premiere of an exciting multi-media production described as 'a new concept for our times'.

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McCoy, who played the seventh incarnation of the BBC Time-Lord will star alongside veteran Fringe favourite Linda Marlowe, best known as EastEnders' Sylvie Carter, and newcomer Eleanor May Blackburn in Apartness, a show that is part live stand-up and part film, running at The Space, Surgeon's Hall, from August 5 to 27.

Using a mix of moving image and vaudevillian-style comedy, the World Premiere of the hybrid show from K4K Films and Shortcut Productions tells the tale of two isolated souls and their devilish comedian saviour.

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Syvester McCoy as Christopher and Linda Marlowe as Alice in Apartness at the Edinburgh FringeSyvester McCoy as Christopher and Linda Marlowe as Alice in Apartness at the Edinburgh Fringe
Syvester McCoy as Christopher and Linda Marlowe as Alice in Apartness at the Edinburgh Fringe

Funny, poignant, full of shocks and surprises, it is a near-true story of unexpected outcomes, based on and inspired by the actions of a comedian who believed art was more important than life. Whatever the truth may be, this is a real-life possibility.

Described as 'a multimedia show for tomorrow' that will make you ‘laugh, gasp and tug at your heartstrings’, McCoy and Marlowe will star in the filmed portions of Apartness, interacting with Blackburn who will be live on stage. The work is the brainchild of award-winning writer and director Kevin Short, who wrote the piece during lockdown, creating what he regards as a “new attraction for both theatre and film audiences, an entertainment that can play both types of venue”.

He adds, “Apartness is for theatre and movie lovers alike so, roll up, roll up, it’s for all of you and you will see Sylvester give what I believe to be his greatest film performance. He is remarkable in it.”

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Sylvester McCoy as Christopher in ApartnessSylvester McCoy as Christopher in Apartness
Sylvester McCoy as Christopher in Apartness

McCoy, who recently hit the headlines after he filmed an Instagram message welcoming Edinburgh actor Ncuti Gatwa to the exclusive ‘Doctor Whos’ club’ after he became the fourth Scottish actor to be cast in the role, the other two being David Tennant and Peter Capaldi, says, “When I read the script I thought, 'Love in a Covid Climate', a multimedia adventure in Covid and comedy, and I really liked that idea.

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“I loved playing the part and I even got to play the spoons!”

McCoy who played The Doctor from 1987 to 1989 when the classic series was cancelled, returning to the role for the TV movie in 1996 and in a series of audio dramas, last appeared on stage at the Fringe in 2018 when he appeared alongside John Bett and Star Trek Voyager actor Robert Picardo to star in A Joke by Dan Freeman.

Produced by K4K Films, producers of award-winning films A Reel Life, Punk Strut-the Movie and Tom and his Zombie Wife and award-winning Shortcut Productions, stage producers of Peter Straker’s Brel, the two companies come together combining their creative skills to bring an exciting new concept to Edinburgh Fringe in its 75th year.

Suitable for ages 16+, Apartness runs nightly for one hour at 10.45pm. Tickets priced £14 are available here.

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