Corrie’s loveable joker Craig Gazey has returned to treading the boards in a raunchy comedy he describes as “Open all Hours on acid.”
The former Weatherfield resident is baring all as Trevor Tinsley in the hilariously sexy Funny Peculiar at Bromley’s Churchill Theatre this week.
Returning to his “first love” of theatre, Craig plays a small-town grocer whose desire to taste forbidden fruit of free love in the 70s leads him astray – despite his devoted wife (Suzanne Shaw) and new baby.
He told the News Shopper: “Trevor, the character I play, wants a piece of that pie – he lives in a sleepy village in the Pennines and he wants a bit of that free love.
“He goes on a rampage to get it and no one will listen to him apart from a new woman (Gemma Bissix) who comes into town, so he has a little bit of a thing with her and everything changes.
“And without giving the end away, his wife comes round to his way of thinking.
“It’s bonkers but it’s really good fun.
“I call it Open All Hours on acid because it’s crazy and set in a very similar shop.
“We all really enjoy it - we’re a very close company.”
Trevor’s hysterical misadventures mean Craig inevitably winds up naked in one particularly revealing scene.
“It’s a funny thing really because when I read there was nudity in it I kind of blocked it out.” He added.
“I have to drop all my clothes when I put my hands up and say ‘I don’t care’, so I just had to not care about it in real life too.
“It’s become quite liberating.
“It’s not one to bring the kids to but the humour isn’t crude – there’s lots of slapstick.”
Craig bagged the National Television Best Newcomer and British Soap Best Comedy Performer awards for his portrayal of Coronation Street’s popular innocent Graeme Proctor.
But after three years of making us laugh – and cry - in the ITV favourite, he decided to return to the stage.
Funny Peculiar will be his second stint in the theatre since Graeme said his goodbyes to the Street.
He said: “I’ve been in theatre since I was five – my duration in Coronation Street was the longest time I’ve had off without doing a play.
“Theatre is my first love and I really missed it.
“The thing about TV is it’s a bit virtual – the most difficult thing about doing comedy on television is although you get the odd chuckle from one of the crew members, everyone is doing their job.
“But with audience members it’s a lot different -you’re helped much more with how you engage when it comes to making people laugh.
“Unless I was a bit creepy, hiding behind people’s bushes to see them watching television, I’m never going to get that with TV.”
Best known for playing the fool Craig’s is quite the comedian, but he also enjoys the serious, emotional side to acting.
He continued: “I suppose comedy is my big thing but I’ve done a fair bit of drama and no character is one-dimensional.
“With Graeme I had a few moments where he got upset, like when Ashley died.
“And there is drama in the play when Trevor’s wife finds out about him and he comes to the realisation that he loves his wife.”
Funny Peculiar runs at The Churchill Theatre in Bromley's High Street every night this week from 7.30pm until Saturday (February 18) with matinees on Thursday and Saturday starting at 2.30pm.
Tickets are from £12 to £27 and can be booked on 0844 871 7620.