Sam Graham (Crime by Irvine Welsh, The Nevers, The Tunnel, Mike Leigh’s Peterloo; National Theatre, RSC, Royal Court) joins the cast of Sunny Boy, Emmy and Bafta Award-winning playwright, director and producer John McKay’s first play in over 30 years.
Sam played ‘Eck’ in the critically acclaimed 1987 play Dead Dad Dog and returns to the same role more than 35 years on for the WORLD PREMIERE of Sunny Boy, sequel to Dead Dad Dog.
Opening at the Finborough Theatre next month, before heading to Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre, Dead Dad Dog and Sunny Boy is a sparkling double bill of distinctly Scottish Theatre, with universal themes of fatherhood and belonging, especially the identity of those torn between Scotland and London (or London and home).
Sam Graham (Stage: Witness for the Prosecution (London County Hall), The Country Wife (Southwark Playhouse), The Permanent Way (Out of Joint/National Theatre), Macbeth, Richard III, Love’s Labour’s Lost, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, As You Like It (all RSC); Screen: Crime by Irvine Welsh, The Nevers, The Tunnel, Mike Leigh’s Peterloo, Law & Order UK, Silk, Taggart, Spooks) joins the previously announced Angus Miller and Liam Brennan for this whip-smart, hilarious and timely double bill.
Dead Dad Dog introduces us to young, ambitious, sexed-up 80s Edinburgh lad Eck (Angus Miller). He’s raring to go, eagerly awaiting the job interview which will change his life, when the ghost of his long dead father, Willie (Liam Brennan), materialises before his eyes. What follows is a blackly comic nightmare as Eck navigates his big day with his phantom father in tow.
Previous casts of Dead Dad Dog have included Robert Carlyle (Trainspotting, The Full Monty, Once Upon a Time), Alan Cumming (Tony and Olivier Award Winner; GoldenEye, X2, The Good Wife, The Good Fight) and Brian Cox (Olivier, Emmy and Golden Globe Winner; Succession, The Bourne Identity, Deadwood).
Set 35 years later, Sunny Boy, sees Eck (Sam Graham) return to Scotland with an uneasy conscience regarding his home country and the relationships he’s made. As he unexpectedly drops in on his young adult son Bobs (Angus Miller), Eck pictures himself a homecoming hero; to his country, his son and what he’s left behind. Sunny Boy brings Eck’s tale bang up to date, reflecting on themes of identity, culture wars and uncomfortable home truths, in this fast, scandalous and heartfelt new play.
Sam Graham said “It’s rare in a 40 year career to get the chance to complete the circle – returning to the same role in two distinct periods of my career is a once in a lifetime opportunity and it’s a joy to step back into Eck’s shoes.”
Writer of Dead Dad Dog and Sunny Boy, John McKay, said “I’m delighted that the very first Eck from the Traverse Theatre production of Dead Dad Dog, legendary Scots actor Sam Graham, is joining us on this new production – playing his original role, grown older but no wiser, in new sequel Sunny Boy.
Sam is an amazing talent who brings impeccable comic timing and very personal experience to the part, and It’s wonderful to be reunited with him on this special new project.”
Dead Dad Dog and Sunny Boy play as a double bill at London’s Finborough Theatre from 3 – 28 October before heading home to the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, from 1 – 4 November 2023 as part of the theatre’s 60th Anniversary Celebrations. Both plays are written by John McKay and directed by Liz Carruthers. Dead Dad Dog and Sunny Boy are produced by Old School and Stories Untold Productions in association with Neil McPherson for Finborough Theatre.