Freedom is a laid back comedy set in Stirling, following the meandering lives of Frank and Jo Higgins, not forgetting Frank’s best pal Doug.
Moray Hunter was a writer/performer in the Channel 4 sketch show Absolutely, as well as the spin off series Mr. Don & Mr. George and The Creatives on BBC2 where he wrote and appeared with Jack Docherty. He has also written extensively for radio and television. His credits including Spitting Image, Alas Smith and Jones and more recently The Cup.
In this pilot episode, Jo is unsettled by a recurring dream she’s been having about Frank having an affair. Frank has recently become unemployed and Jo’s heard that Stirling Castle is looking for tour guides. Jo thinks Frank should apply. Frank is unsure but is persuaded to look into it further, with the prospect that wearing a hat might form part of the uniform. Frank is now determined to find out all he can about life as a tour guide. He enlists his best pal Doug to accompany him on his mission although Doug is somewhat distracted, having fallen in love with a girl in the pub the previous night. Shame he hasn’t spoken to her yet.
Freedom stars the unique comic talents of Scottish stand up comedian David Kay as Frank Higgins. Alongside David’s stand up he is rapidly gaining an enviable reputation as a fine comedy actor through his recent performances in The Old Guys (BBC1 Network), Rab C Nesbitt (BBC2 Network) and Gary: Tank Commander (BBC2 Scotland). He also played the main supporting role in ‘Welcome to Strathmuir’ (Absolutely), a half hour sitcom pilot (BBC2 Scotland).
On radio he recently starred as the lead, ‘Modrin McDonald’ a 2,000 year old wizard in the critically acclaimed debut series “Modrin McDonald : 21st Century wizard” (The Comedy Unit) for BBC Radio 4. The series was co-written by David and Gavin Smith.
Victoria Balnaves, who plays Frank’s wife Jo, has made numerous television appearances including Still Game, Cowards, River City and more recently Gary: Tank Commander and she won the award for “Best New Scottish Actor” at the Scotland Variety Awards in 2009.
Donald Pirie who plays Frank’s best mate Doug appeared as ‘Calum’ in River City but is probably better known for his stage work, His theatre credits include: As You Like It (Lyceum), Antigone (Old Vic), Myths of the Near Future (Tramway), The Cure at Troy (BAC) and Macbeth (Everyman).
Aisling Bea who plays the tour guide Aisling has appeared in numerous comedy shows on television including My So Called Life Sentence, LOL Sketch Show, Innmates and Navid & Johnny.
Louise Ludgate who plays Gail has made numerous television appearances including Taggart, High Times and most recently The Elemental.
The show is produced by North Inch Productions, which was formed in 2008 by Producer Mary Bell, Writer-Producer Moray Hunter and Writer-Actor David Kay.
Mary Bell is a former Deputy Managing Director and Executive Producer for Hat Trick Productions. Her credits include Have I Got News For You, Father Ted and Harry Enfield‘s Television Programme.
The show was directed by Michael Hines who, over thirteen years in the industry, has directed some of Scotland’s biggest shows including BAFTA winning Still Game and Chewin’ the Fat. He has also shot multi camera music concerts including Madness and The Noisettes for last year’s Edinburgh Hogmanay.
Edinburgh Reporter old lags will recognise Hunter as the author of this piece published earlier this year in The Edinburgh Reporter about his Fringe experiences.