CRAIG Hunter can pinpoint the exact moment he fell in love with singing.

“With my mum in the car, belting out Cher songs, on the way to nursery,” he says, promptly, adding with a laugh: “There’s not a single other person in the family who does this for a living. I’m the black sheep. Although I think my mum might be a secret singer...

“But my whole family is really supportive. I have an entourage in the audience, wherever I go, which I’m grateful for.”

The 26-year-old is starring in Stay, A Play, A Pie and A Pint’s latest production in the lunchtime theatre series at Oran Mor.

Glasgow Times: Craig in rehearsal with Daisy Ann FletcherCraig in rehearsal with Daisy Ann Fletcher (Image: Tommy Ga-Ken Wan)

Written by Jonathan O’Neill and Isaac Savage, recipients of the prestigious Bruce Millar Graduate Fellowship from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, it is the story of ex-lovers Kit and Rowan, brought back together to scatter the ashes of a loved one.

It also stars Daisy Ann Fletcher and it is directed by Melanie Bell, who was involved with the development of the musical and has worked extensively across NYC, London and Scotland as a director, writer, choreographer and actor.

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“It’s about love and loss and grief, and it’s been quite intense,” explains Craig. “Grief comes in a million shapes and sizes and it has been strange, getting to grips with these characters' version of it. It definitely makes you delve deep into your own psyche....”

He adds, with a laugh: “I do have to really switch off when I get home. Watch some funny cat videos, that sort of thing.”

Craig grew up in the small Clyde Valley village of Crossford and studied drama firstly at what was Motherwell College (now New College Lanarkshire) and then at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow.

“I joined am-dram groups to make friends, really - I wasn’t planning on doing it as a career,” he says.

Glasgow Times: Craig and Daisy Ann play ex-lovers, reunited to scatter the ashes of a loved oneCraig and Daisy Ann play ex-lovers, reunited to scatter the ashes of a loved one (Image: Tommy Ga-Ken Wan)

“I was going to university in Birmingham to study engineering, when my parents sat me down and said - are you SURE this is really what you want to do?”

He adds, smiling: “It’s like the opposite of what normally happens - my parents talked me INTO doing musical theatre. It’s like even though I couldn’t see it, other people could. And now I know it is exactly what I’m supposed to be doing.”

Craig also “stays afloat” by working as a swim teacher.

“I did it through uni, and it’s still a bit of a side hustle in between jobs,” he says, grinning. “Most people say, ‘you’re doing whit?’ But I love it.”

One of Craig’s first shows after graduating was Local Hero, a big-budget stage version of the Bill Forsyth movie, in London, swiftly followed by acclaimed folk musical A Mother’s Song, which premiered to rave reviews in Stirling.

Tackling themes of identity, motherhood and choice, it followed the story of three remarkable women at different moments in history, tracing the incredible journey of Scottish folk music across the Atlantic, and for a young actor not long out of his studies, Craig admits it was “an insane experience.”

“A Mother’s Son was crazy, and it has opened so many doors for me,” he explains. “Doing A Play, A Pie and A Pint is a real bucket list moment though.

“It’s intense, and there’s a quick turnaround, but after A Mother’s Song I feel ready to do anything.”

He adds, with a grin: “I no longer feel like I’m in the deep end without any armbands.”

Stay runs until Saturday, October 7.