tip for the pantomime season: catch rising star Joseph McFadden at the Ayr Gaiety theatre this Christmas before he leaves Scotland for the
FEATURE THE CROW ROAD bright lights ofl.ondon. 'I don‘t want
You e t E Ato talk about it.‘ he laughs. "l‘hey
totally roped me into playing Peter Pan before
- Small Faces came out and I thought I‘d be glad of it. It'll be good fun and I’ll get to fly abottt. but you won‘t print that. will you‘."
I Sorry. mate — it‘s too good a line to pass tip. McFadden is the Peter Pan of Scottish acting
whose boyish good looks secured him his first television part aged twelve before becoming a
’ I regular on the soap formerly known as Tit/re The High Road. A couple of years ago it was abbreviated simply to High Road and several an d I younger characters introduced in an attempt to attract the Neig/ilmurs audience. But alter six years of playing teenage slacker Gary. TI 0 McFadden is about to hand in his notice to e I says .\‘lcl"adden. ‘But she‘s not serious — she would do the same thing in my situation.‘ So ‘In this I’ve got to do a couple of sex scenes . . . A sick part of me has always wanted to do it just to prove to myself that I can . . . er, I was going to say rise
pursue meatier parts. This may not be good to the occasmn.
news for his screen wife Shonagh Price. 'I told her I was thinking of leaving and she was giving it. oh no you can‘t do this to me.‘
how will they write his character out‘.’ ‘I don’t know. our marriage has been really rocky so I
AS Small Faces star JOSCph McFadden abandons his television SO'dp can see them splitting us up and maybe sending career, he speaks to Eddie Gibb about his leading role in an adaptation of him off 10 the m'my- But they won‘t kill her off Iain Bankgas The Crow Road anyway because they like her too much.‘
For any actor. passing up four months of regular work each year takes some nerve. but McFadden has every reason to be optimistic. His big break was in Small Faces. Gillies and Billy h’lackinnon‘s semi-autobiographical account of growing tip on the fringes of Glasgow gangland in the ()()s. McFadden plays the sensitive and romantic Alan - based loosely on Gillies‘s own adolescence — who is far too absorbed in his art school portfolio to get involved in gang violence.
For the past four weeks. McFadden has been on location around Loch Fyne shooting The Crow Road. BBC Scotland‘s adaptation of the lain Banks book about the eccentric McHoan clan who populate Argyll. He plays the lead character Prentice McHoan. a Glasgow university student who becomes fascinated with the family‘s black sheep Uncle Rory. who disappeared without trace some years previously. On the strength of this major four- parter. pencilled in for transmission in the autumn. McFadden has been signed tip by a major London agent who has convinced him there is life beyond Glendarroch.
‘He doesn’t want me to get into another soap and he says if I hold out for long enough there will be good work out there for me, so it’s just a matter of waiting for the right part to come along,’ McFadden says.
After honouring his long-standing panto commitment, he plans to head for London in January with his girlfriend Kirsty Mitchell, a former Flower of Scotland beauty who also has a part in The Crow Road. Is it easier going out with someone in the business?
The road to success: Joseph McFadden on the set of The Crow Road. .. ‘Yes, because no one else would understand
14 The List 14-27 Jun I996 ,#__—A‘I