Falkirk district actors take to the stage at Edinburgh Fringe

Two actors from the Falkirk district are among the thousands of performers treading the boards at the Edinburgh Fringe.

By Fiona Dobie
Tuesday, 13th August 2019, 5:55 pm
Larbert actor Calum Ross is appearing in Trips and Falls.
Larbert actor Calum Ross is appearing in Trips and Falls.

Young Calum Ross, from Larbert, is currently appearing in Trips and Falls, a Scottish road trip comedy for the whole family, while forces veteran Billy McWilliam will play a leading role in The Dandelion Patch, a play devised by a company of wounded, injured or sick ex-forces and professional actors, when it starts next week.

For Calum, Trips and Falls, a Student Theatre at Glasgow (STAG) production, follows two English sisters on a mission to scatter their Scottish grandmother’s ashes on the isle of Arran.

They steal their grandmother’s urn, take their mother’s car and travel to the west coast of Scotland.

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Falkirk veteran Billy McWilliam during rehearsals for The Dandelion Patch

Little do they know, hot on their trail is mum and dad, and the local police officer and her newly appointed, not-so-experienced, work experience boy, played by Calum.

He also appears as old shop keeper Mrs Haggard.

Calum, who recently graduated from the University of Glasgow with a first in theatre studies and English, said: “The chance to collaborate with other like-minded individuals and forge meaningful partnerships is an opportunity that cannot be understated.”

The seasoned member of Glasgow’s student theatre scene will be studying for his MA in Acting at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama this autumn.

Elsewhere in the capital, Falkirk veteran Billy will be starring in Stand Easy Productions’ The Dandelion Patch from Monday.

Using their own experiences the cast explore the lives of three forces and ex-forces families as they try to deal with the fallout from post-traumatic stress.

The company uses theatre and drama as a means of recovery for wounded, injured and sick military personnel.

Billy (63), was able to use his own personal experience in the role, having served in Northern Ireland, Germany, Kosovo and Bosnia during his 30 year career with the Kings Own Scottish Borderers and the Royal Engineers.

The cast of veterans, supported by professionals and student actors from Dundee and Angus College, only had three weeks to rehearse the partly-improvised play.

Billy said: “This is my fourth production with Stand Easy and it has changed my life.

“I am now able to do things and talk to new people, which I could never have done 18 months ago.

“I signed up for Stand Easy at a Help for Heroes meeting in January 2018, thinking that gave me plenty of time to make an excuse not to do the production in May that year.

“I never imagined I would be performing at the Edinburgh Fringe.”

Trips and Falls runs at the Space at Niddry Street (Venue 9) until Saturday.

The Dandelion Patch is at Surgeons Hall, Nicolson Street from August 19 to 24.