A SOUTH Shields writer’s play has proven a comedy hit.
Philip Meeks’s latest creation, Kiss Me Honey, Honey! has won a top award at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
The play, which follows two men of a certain age who form an unlikely friendship through a mutual love of Shirley Bassey, has scooped a Fringe First Award.
The accolades, which recognise new writing, are organised by the Gazette’s sister-paper, The Scotsman, and have been going for 40 years.
Former Emmerdale writer Philip said: “They hand these awards out over the three weeks of the festival and I won in the first week, which is very flattering, especially when there are so many big shows on.
“The awards are given to new writing that captures the spirit of the Fringe, so I’m very pleased to have been chosen.
“I’ve got two wonderful actors in the show, Andy Gray and Grant Stott, who are very highly-acclaimed in Scotland, so it was selling very well anyway, but winning this award got it even more attention.”
The Scotsman’s chief theatre critic, and chairwoman of the Fringe First judging panel, Joyce McMillan described Philip’s play as “a display of dazzling comic skill in the service of a story that is far from daft; and it will make you laugh until you cry”.
Philip added: “Even though my play is a big comedy, it’s about men who are vulnerable, and I don’t think we see that very often.
“There are lots of plays about vulnerable women, but you don’t often see men in that way. I’ve already had a lot of people contacting me about getting the rights for the show, and after Fringe, it’s going on a Scottish tour, including some dates at the fantastic King’s Theatre.”
Another of Philip’s plays, Murder, Marple and Me, which tells the story of Miss Marple actress Margaret Rutherford, was a sell-out hit at the Fringe last year.
Philip said: “We’ve got Murder, Marple and Me back at the Fringe and it’s selling out again, so now I have two sell-out shows at Edinburgh, which is just amazing really.
“The festival is so wonderful and it’s a must for any theatre fan, because you can enjoy shows from first thing in the morning until last thing at night.”
Kiss Me Honey, Honey! is at the Gilded Balloon Teviot theatre in Edinburgh.