Willie and Sebastian

Expectations were high in a crowded Dining Room at the old Gilded Balloon, with a profusion of Scottish media lending support or checking out the latest and most challenging new work from a well known duo.

The majority of the drama is left to Andy Gray – dramatic and humorous as always, still playing to the audience and particularly the ladies in the front row.

Andy Gray and Grant Stott are partners-in-comedy now, after record-breaking panto seasons year after year at the King’s Theatre, Edinburgh. It is a return to the stage for them after a limited run of Fringe First winning Kiss Me Honey Honey last year. The dream team is complete with Rab C. Nesbitt writer Ian Pattison, penning this new work based on the real life stories of Willie Donaldson and Sebastian Horsley and particularly their love of the same woman. 

The pair’s past is dropped into the narrative too, such as Willie’s triumph in producing the iconic Beyond The Fringe (which launched Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Alan Bennett and Jonathan Miller and arguably the growth of the Fringe as we know it) and Sebastian’s one-time crucifixion in the Philippines, as well as their significant use of drugs and subsequent squandering of their fortunes.

The glamour aspect comes in the form of Rachel, both of their lovers, played by Michelle Gallagher, and the action takes place in Willie’s shambolic living room. The majority of the drama, though, is left to Andy Gray – dramatic and humorous as always, still playing to the audience and particularly the ladies in the front row (in his underpants, but still endearing as the lovable failure).

This is an endearing drama from Andy Gray with good character interaction from Stott and Gallagher, but it doesn’t really explore the creative aspects of the gentleman – only their flaws – within the time limitations of a Fringe performance.

Reviews by John Murray

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Willie and Sebastian were friends. Willie was a theatre producer, Sebastian was, well ... Sebastian. Both squandered vast fortunes. Both were hopeless romantics. Both were crack addicts. Did I mention they happened to fall in love with the same girl? Well, they did. Hopelessly, of course. If you’d like to see how that worked out, do join us. Oh, and check your morals at the door. Written by Rab C Nesbitt creator Ian Pattison, starring Andy Gray, Grant Stott, Michelle Gallagher and directed by Sam Kane. From the 2013 Fringe First-winning Kiss Me Honey, Honey! team.