Tommy Bastow stars in love story with a twist in Harold and Maude [Video]

Harry first met Sally on an awkward car journey. Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara’s love blossomed on the plantation, while sparks were flying for Grease’s Danny and Sandy on the beach.

The list of settings where cinema’s star-crossed pairings have found lasting love may be endless but it is pretty much taken for granted that a funeral isn’t one of the most romantic locations.

It’s a mutual interest in death that draws 19-year-old Harold Chasen and 79-year-old widow Maude Chardin together in the quirky love story Harold and Maude.

The story is being brought to Scottish audiences for the first time in Theatre Jezebel and Glasgay’s production of the 1971 cult cinema classic.

Tommy Bastow and Vari Sylvester take on the leading roles in the theatre show which kicks off its run at the Tron Theatre on October 30.

For Tommy, who grew up onscreen in the popular BT adverts, it’s been an opportunity to make sure he is not typecast as a "pretty boy."

He said: "Harold is a privileged but disturbed kid, he’s about 19 years old, he’s just finished school, he’s obsessed with suicide and death and he does that a lot to scare his mum.

"He’s a bit of a sick puppy, and then he meets Maude. It’s magical.

"He’s such an interesting character to play. I’m always getting cast as the pretty boy two dimensional character and I was just sort of getting fed up of it.

"When this came along I just thought, I’ve got to do it, because this was so bizarre and weird and I want to act out parts of my personality through Harold.

"I just fell in love with the part as soon as I read the script."

As well as regularly staging mock suicides Harold drives a hearse and counts funerals as the highlight of his social calendar.

His outlook changes forever when he meets Maude, who at 79-year-old is the life and soul of any party and has encourages him to: "Reach out. Take a chance. Get hurt even. But play as well as you can."

Directed and designed by Kenny Miller the Glasgow production captures the essence of the 1971 film but is scaled back to a small cast of four, with Anita Vettesse as Mrs Chasen and Richard Conlon as Doctor Matthews completing the line-up.

Actress Vari Sylvester, who remembers the original film starring Ruth Gordon and Bud Cort, says she was keen to make the part her own.

She explained: “I saw it and I loved it. It was a real cult film. As far as successes go it was a bit of a flop, but it’s a classic because it’s about relationships and love.”

Harold and Maude runs from October 30 to November 3 at the Tron Theatre as part of the Glasgay! and Luminate festivals. For ticket information go to the Tron Theatre’s website.

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