Morton is no lookalike casting - despite the fact that no-one who passed our table failed to stop and comment on his resemblance to Boy George. He deplores type casting and the kind of performers it produces (although we make an honourable exception for Sir Sean "I thought I’d play this one Scottish" Connery). Morton swigs Coke and launches into an improvised scene featuring the great expatriate patriot revealing his intentions to play a Pakistani statesman in a Scottish accent.
Morton himself is pretty patriotic and would love to return to Scotland to work. He has, he says, "deluged" the Citizens’ Theatre with "geezajob" letters to no avail. The only acting jobs he has had in Scotland have been telly jobs like Taggart … cast in London. Maybe this break, he says, will make him more attractive in Scotland.
He has had coaching to help mould his Bo’ness accent into George’s music business hybrid tones, but the performance is, he says, very much his. The show, he is at great pains to point out, is not strictly the Boy George story but a love story between two young kids, Billy and Kim, neither of whom have any basis in reality at all. A new romance among the New Romantics, as it were.
The love story is set in that slice of time decorated with the sugar sprinkles and fondant icing that were Boy George, Steve Strange, Leigh Bowery, Philip Sallon and the denizens of the club culture they created. All of these 1980s icons - with the exception of Bowery - are still around and more than interested in the show. And all are happy with their dramatic doppelgängers.
Still, Morton is "bricking it" as he smilingly puts it. "I keep getting notes today like "project, Euan, project!" and I’m thinking, "I can’t speak any louder than this - I’m s****ing myself!" But he likes the terror. "It’s the pleasure/pain thing," he says, with a suggestive widening of smoky shadowed eyelids. (He hasn’t quite got it together with the make-up thing yet and has his done for him. Mark McGee, who plays Marilyn, he says admiringly, can do his own in 15 minutes.)
Scots are no good at coming from in front. We tend to do better overcoming insuperable odds. And the odds are looking good on this one. The show is selling out fast and word of mouth is better than good. Plus Morton himself is the subject of a half-hour arts documentary by the BBC to be broadcast on 20 January, before the opening night. He worries that all the positive pre-publicity will have a "Harry Potter effect". He says he remembers being disappointed by a movie that couldn’t possibly live up to all its hype and raised expectations.
Having said that, he raises a few expectations about the rest of the cast, the production team and the director himself. Matt Lucas as Bowery is "extraordinary", Luke Evans as Billy "special" and Gemma Craven "amazing". I ask him, before he has to get back into lippie and Lurex, what three wishes I could grant him were I his Fairy Godmother. He says that he would want to know that his rent and bills would always be paid, to have a smaller nose ("I hate my nose") and a bigger dick ("doesn’t everyone?"). How can the Citizens’ Theatre have ignored a boy like this for so long?
Taboo is currently in preview at the Venue, Leicester Square, London. The show opens on 29 January. Tel: 0870-899 3335.