A former journalist and ex-assistant editor of the Edinburgh Evening News is performing at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival, after dramatically changing careers at the beginning of this year. John McColl, who stars in Ella Hickson’s latest production ‘Precious Little Talent’, spent over 30 years working as a reporter and editor in the UK media before switching to the theatre in January.
Speaking of the decision, McColl says ‘I’ve always been interested in acting – there are a lot of actors in my family – but I hit a crossroads in my teens between journalism and acting, and I went for newspapers. I had some good times as a journalist, but as I got older I started thinking if I don’t do it, I’ll always have a “what if” and I didn’t want any regrets.’
He is very excited about the Fringe and the possibilities for ‘Precious Little Talent’ saying, ‘it’s brilliant, I’m getting paid for what I love to do’. He has previously performed in amateur productions at the Fringe, and this year is also appearing in ‘A Promised Land’ at the Scottish Storytelling Centre.
So far, McColl has appeared in ‘Lapse’ a 2009 film by BG Productions screened at The Filmhouse, and two plays; Saint Joan at the 2008 Edinburgh Fringe, and ‘To The Cross’, both performed at the Theatre Alba. He has also written four plays, including ‘Sandcastles on the Beach’ (published by Samuel French and performed in UK, and other countries including China, Australia and Germany), and ‘The Hunchback of St Giles’ (now at the Scottish Storytelling Centre).
In ‘Precious Little Talent’, which opens next week, John plays George, a 65-year-old English man living in New York. A cuttingly intelligent ex-professor of linguistics, George is a man living with a secret that he tries desperately to keep hidden from his daughter, Joey, when she unexpectedly joins him for Christmas.
Pitching American optimism against British cynicism and asking which holds up when times get tough, ‘Precious Little Talent’ is a warm, funny and beautifully written story of memory and family, of daughters and lovers, of aspiration and frustration, told by a generation fighting not to be forgotten.
PRECIOUS LITTLE TALENT by ELLA HICKSON
BEDLAM THEATRE, VENUE 49, 6TH – 29TH AUGUST
For more information or to book tickets for ‘Precious Little Talent’ at the Fringe.