Spring 2016 Production

Award-winning actors Shane Richie and Jessie Wallace star on stage together for the very first time, in No.1 bestselling author Peter James’ critically acclaimed stage hit – The Perfect Murder.

Victor Smiley and his wife Joan have been married for a long time. But their marriage has reached crisis point and Victor has decided there is only one way to get Joan out of his life forever… but he’s about to get a nasty surprise… As a young Detective Roy Grace starts to investigate his very first homicide case, dark forces intervene and Grace begins to fear that nothing is quite as it seems.

Have you ever wondered how to commit the perfect murder? This highly entertaining dark comedy thriller directed by Olivier Award winner, Ian Talbot, might be your answer!

Shane Richie and Jessie Wallace have famously starred together in EastEnders for that last 13 years and both have numerous other TV and theatre credits.  Peter James has sold over 17million books of his Roy Grace series. The Perfect Murder was 15 weeks at No.1 and remained for 50 weeks in the iBook Top 10.

London Theatre 1 ★★★★★
‘A masterpiece of comedy theatre – macabre, farcical, yet delicious, it really is just perfect’

BritishTheatre.com ★★★★
A great night in the theatre’

Gloucestershire Echo
‘Shane Richie and Jessie Wallace sparkle and are a sheer joy to watch’

Cast
SHANE RICHIE as VICTOR SMILEY

Shane studied in Los Angeles with The Maurice Kosloff School of Method Acting and studied ‘Comedy in Film’ with M.K. Lewis.

Shane’s extensive theatre credits include: starring as Danny Zuko in the West End production of Grease which broke all box office records, followed by another sell-out season at the Manchester Palace Theatre. Shane followed this with Boogie Nights which he co-wrote and co-produced in the West End and on a national UK theatre tour.

Shane then played Randle Patrick McMurphy in One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest taking over from Christian Slater, and Ebenezer Scrooge in the smash-hit musical Scrooge which again broke box office records. Further credits include: Masquerade, The Trials of King Arthur, Stand up and Be Counted, Class Enemy, Who Killed Captain Scarlett?, Lone Star, and the critical acclaimed Private Wars at the King’s Head Islington.

His numerous television credits include: Fagin in Oliver Twist – a BBC1 Christmas Special; the two-hour ITV dramas What We Did on Our Holidays, followed by 90 minute drama The Good Samaritan, and As Good As It Gets. He also filmed a guest lead role in the Channel 4/E4 hit drama series Skins and BBC1’s New Tricks.

Shane then starred as ‘Archie Daley’ in six episodes of the television series Minder. His next production was ITV’s Whatever It Takes playing the lead role of JJ Merrick. He presented the Sky1 documentary Make Me Irish after his three very successful series of Don’t Forget the Lyrics. He presented the News of the World Children’s Champions Awards also for Sky1. Shane featured in 71 Degrees North for ITV and Around the World in 80 Days for BBC Television.

Shane has combined his theatre and television career with film roles that include: Porter in a special Channel 4 film version of Macbeth alongside Greta Scacchi; Dead Clean and Distant Shadow. He also produced and starred in Shoreditch alongside Joely Richardson. Shane featured with Hugh Jackman and Kate Winslett as Sid in the DreamWorks film Flushed Away and filmed Prisoners of The Sun on location in Morocco with John Rhys Davis and Joss Ackland.  Special guest star film roles include the Brit Flick Risen, and The Reverend.

A major career turning point came along when the role of loveable rogue Alfie Moon was created especially for Shane in EastEnders. During his time on The Square he has received many accolades and awards including: Best Newcomer, Best Actor, Most Popular Male Actor and Best Soap Award (National Television Awards), Best Male Actor (ITV Soap Awards), Best Soap Actor (TV Choice Awards), Soap Personality of the Year at the TRIC awards and Best Male Actor at the Rose D’or television festival (Europe’s BAFTAs).

Furthermore, Shane hosted a family game show entitled Reflex, which was shown on Saturday evenings on BBC1. In 2014 -2015 Shane hosted the BBC1 Saturday Night show Win Your Wish List and BBC1’s DECIMATE. 2015 has been a busy year of filming, including ITV’s BENIDORM, BBC1’s THE BLITZ and of course the role of Alfie Moon in Eastenders.

Shane and Jessie will also star in their very own BBC1 six part drama series.

JESSIE WALLACE as JOAN SMILEY

Jessie Wallace was born in Enfield, North London, and originally trained as a make-up artist, working at the Royal Shakespeare Company. She retrained as an actress and graduated from The Poor School in 1999 winning her first TV role in THE BILL shortly afterwards.

Jessie is best known for her role as the Kat Slater in EASTENDERS between 2000 and 2005, returning to the show in the autumn of 2010. Other television credits include the role of Amy Kriel in the third series of ITV’s WILD AT HEART (Company Pictures/itv); DINNER PARTY (BBC) with Lee Evans and Alison Steadman; MARIE LLOYD (Hat Trick) for BBC Four and A CLASS APART (BBC) opposite Nathaniel Parker. In December 2010 Jessie played Pat Phoenix, in THE ROAD TO CORONATION STREET, a one-off ITV drama exploring the origins and conception of Coronation Street, to mark the show’s 50th anniversary. For which she was BAFTA Nominated.

Jessie made her West End theatre debut, in the role of Maureen in RENT REMIXED at the Duke of York’s Theatre (2007 -2008). Other theatre credits include HAUNTED (Arts Theatre) and the 25th Anniversary UK tour production of STEPPING OUT by Richard Harris, playing the role of Sylvia. Jessie recently returned to the theatre playing Lil in Theatre Royal Stratford East’s musical production of FINGS AIN’T WOT THEY USED T’BE directed by Terry Johnson.

Jessie Wallace is also patron of the theatre charity The Music Hall Guild of Great Britain and America.

Jessie has been a well-known television face for over ten years and has won a number of industry awards, including an NTA and TRIC award. She has made guest appearances on shows including the French & Saunders Christmas special, & The Friday Night Project to name but a few. Jessie featured with Sir Bruce Forsyth in a musical BBC1 Christmas Special 2014 and continues to film EASTENDERS in 2015.

Jessie, along with Shane, is looking forward to their new 6 part drama series for BBC 1.

SIMONA ARMSTRONG as KAMILA WALCAK

Born in the beautiful and picturesque Romania now a British Citizen, Simona Armstrong has made her appearance in various TV productions. Most notable are Doctors (BBC1), A Touch of Frost (ITV), The Bill (ITV), Love Soup (BBC1), Synchronicity (BBC4), Drifters (Chanel4). In 2006 after auditioning for feedback on her singing abilities she reached the live finals of the musical show “How do you solve a problem like Maria”, created by Andrew Lloyd Webber for the BBC.

“Back home I also studied classical and folklore music and when in Bucharest studying drama I was cast as Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors – the first American musical to be staged in my country. That was an amazing experience! The American Director of the show, Calvin Andre McClinton encouraged me to pursue a career in musical theatre should I be given the opportunity. The Maria show gave me that chance which I have always appreciated, however my heart still belongs to dramatic theatre and this is what I love most”

For the love of her dramatic theatre, Simona has starred in several stage productions, most recently at The Vienna English Theatre in the role of Maria in Ken Ludwig’s Tony-Award-winning Lend Me a Tenor.  The Vienna Review wrote: “Maria, played by Simona Armtrong, is a standout among the women in the show, bravely taking on the double task of an Italian accent and a physically demanding role.”

Her passions outside theatre are the outdoors, sport and nutrition. “I felt lucky to be able to find something that compliments my career so well; not to mention, it keeps me healthy, fit and strong and not last young. It gives me a great sense of contentment and peace. So rewarding!”

Simona is thrilled to be working again on The Perfect Murder stage adaptation. “Privileged and honoured, that’s how I feel, to be asked to continue playing Kamila. I would have not missed the chance to share the stage with this fabulous cast and be reunited with the warm and kind Director, Ian Talbot. The production is in the hands of Joshua Andrews and Peter James, two wonderful successful men that I respect and admire – I couldn’t wish for more.”

STEPHEN FLETCHER as DON KIRK

Stephen graduated from LIPA with a First Class BA Hons Degree in Performing Arts.

His theatre Credits include:  DI Watts, CANOEING FOR BEGINNERS, Royal Court Liverpool,  Gary LeJeune, NOISES OFF, The Royal Court;  Reverend James James, MARK DAVIES MARKHAM’S: SPECIAL MEASURES, The Royal Court; Ben Silverman, THE SUNSHINE BOYS, Life in Theatre Productions; Doctor/Young Collector, A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE, Liverpool Playhouse;

Paul McCartney in Lennon, Dixie in Little Scouse On the Prairie and Scouse Pacific, Mark in Our Day Out, Dixie in Merry Ding Dong and Peter in Stags & Hens at Royal Court, Liverpool;  Scott in Up On The Roof at Coliseum Theatre, Oldham, New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich and Haymarket Theatre, Basingstoke;  Hamlet in Hamlet and Oberon & Theseus in A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Lodestar Theatre;  Joey in Erics and Tim in Breezeblock Park at Liverpool Playhouse;  Bailey Howard in Betwixt at King’s Head, London;  Adam in Safari Party at New Vic, Stoke;  O’Kelly in Mary Stuart at the Donmar Warehouse;  Mark in 24 Hour Plays: Comfort at the Old Vic;  Colin in 100% Bulletproof at Soho theatre & Liverpool Everyman;  Rodney in 7 Stories for Lloyd Dane Partnership;  The Borrowers at West Yorkshire Playhouse;  Prince Charming in Sleeping Beauty at the Lowry;  Marvin in Falsettoland and Burrs in The Wild Party at the Edinburgh Festival;  Salty & Nixon in Teecher’s at Madinat Theatre, Dubai;  Gill & Marcantonio in Top Of The Heap at Chapter Arts Theatre.

Stephen’s television and film credits include:  Home Fires  for ITV; Coranation Street for ITV; Hollyoaks for Lime Pictures/C4; Britz for Mentorn;  The Liverpool Nativity for BBC 3;  All About Me for Celador;  Kerching for BBC;  Ricky’s Joke Shop for On The Box/Mem PLC Productions;  Heartbeat for ITV Yorkshire;  Liverpool for LA Productions/Capital Of Culture;  The Break Out for BAFTA North/First Take;  All Girl Action for Local Bands.

His radio Credits include:  High Noon At The Sad Café for BBC Radio 4/Watershed Productions.

BENJAMIN WILKIN as DETECTIVE CONSTABLE ROY GRACE

Ben trained at Bretton Hall and at The BRIT School as well as furthering his theatre training in Poland with Piezn Kozla.

Television includes: Call the Midwife, Land Girls, Emmerdale, Birds of a Feather, New Tricks, Doctors and Hotel Babylon. He has also appeared in several feature films including Kinky Boot, Incendiary and Rearview.

Theatre includes: Wolf in Bent (Trafalgar Studios) and Jesus in On The Third Day (New Ambassadors Theatre).

ALAN FREESTONE as UNDERSTUDY MALE

CLAIRE RUSSELL as UNDERSTUDY FMALE

Creatives
PETER JAMES – NOVELIST AND PRODUCER

PETER JAMES is one of the UK’s most treasured crime and thriller novelists. His Roy Grace detective novels have sold over 18 million copies worldwide in total. The series is now translated into 37 languages.  Peter’s Roy Grace novels, have had 11 consecutive Sunday Times No 1s. In the Autumn of 2012, Not Dead Yet toppled the 50 Shades Of Grey trilogy off the No 1 paperback fiction slot, ending its 25 week domination of the chart and in May 2015, You Are Dead, derailed The Girl On The Train’s 3 month chart domination going straight in at no 1 in the Sunday Times bestseller charts.  His novella, ‘The Perfect Murder’ (2010) went straight in at No 1 in the iBooks chart and spent 40 consecutive weeks in the iBooks Top 10.  It was adapted into a play called The Perfect Murder which did its first, smash hit tour starring Les Dennis in 2014 and is touring again with Shane Ritchie and Jessie Wallace in Spring 2016. The original run was followed by the play of Dead Simple in 2015, starring Tina Hobley and Jamie Lomas which was an equally big success during its 6 month nationwide run. ‘Love You Dead’ in hardback was Peter’s eleventh Sunday Times no 1 bestseller and  Peter’s first non-fiction title ‘Death Comes Knocking’ written in association with Graham Bartlett, Head of Sussex Police was published in July 2016, scoring Peter a hat trick of titles in the Sunday Times charts within a month.

Peter, an established film producer, was educated at Charterhouse then at film school. He has produced numerous films, including The Merchant of Venice, starring Al Pacino. He has an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Brighton in recognition of his services to literature and the community, is Patron of Neighbourhood Watch nationwide, Patron of Crimestoppers in Sussex, Patron of Brighton & Hove Samaritans, and Patron of Relate, among many other charitable posts he holds.  Peter has been two-times Chair of the Crime Writers’ Association and has won many literary awards, including the publicly voted ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards People’s Bestseller Dagger and he was shortlisted for the Wellcome Trust Book Prize.  As popular internationally as in the UK, he won the US Barry Award, for Best British Crime Novel in 2012.  Last year, 2015, he was voted by WH Smith readers as The Best Crime Author Of All Time. His latest Roy Grace novel, Love You Dead was published May 2016.   

Born and brought up in Brighton, Peter divides his time between his homes in Notting Hill, London and Sussex. Peter is available for interviews and to write features. Find out more about Peter James at www.panmacmillan.com and Peter’s website www.peterjames.com


Peter James TV YouTube channel:
www.peterjames.com/YouTube
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/peterjames.roygrace
Twitter: http://twitter.com/peterjamesuk
Instagram: https://instagram.com/peterjamesuk
Instagram Pets: https://instagram.com/peterjamesukpets
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Peter-James/e/B000APS7L4/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1469738214&sr=8-2-ent

MARK HOWETT - LIGHTING DESIGNER
SHAUN MCKENNA - STAGE ADAPTOR

As well as NOT DEAD ENOUGH, Shaun has adapted two other Peter James novels for the stage – THE PERFECT MURDER (2014 and 2016) and DEAD SIMPLE (2015).   A fourth is in development.

He has been a core writer on the BBC’s epic First World War drama HOME FRONT since 2014 and in 2016/7 the BBC broadcast his new adaptation of THE FORSYTES.  In 2012 his stage version of LADIES IN LAVENDER won five Broadway World UK awards, including Best Regional Play.  He has several projects in development including the forthcoming Glenn Miller musical FEELIN’ IN THE MOOD and a show about the creator of American jazz dance, Jack Cole.

West End credits include MADDIE, LAUTREC, LA CAVA and the multi award winning stage version of THE LORD OF THE RINGS for which Shaun won a Dora Mavor Moore Award and was nominated for an Olivier Award.   Edinburgh Festival hits include TERRY PRATCHETT’S ONLY YOU CAN SAVE MANKIND and MURDER MYSTERY MUSICAL.  International theatre includes the HEIDI trilogy (Switzerland and Germany, Prix Walo nomination); LAST DANCE (Off Broadway) and BEN HUR LIVE (London and Rome).

TV includes THE CROOKED MAN, LIKE FATHER LIKE SON, DOCTORS, HEARTBEAT (Royal Television Society Best Drama award) and GREAT WEST END THEATRES.

Twenty five years of BBC Radio credits include THE COMPLETE SMILEY, MARNIE, BROTHER DUSTY FEET, EAST OF EDEN, ME AND LITTLE BOOTS, MEETING JACK and THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE.

www.shaunmckenna.net

IAN TALBOT - DIRECTOR

Ian was Artistic and Managing Director of The Open Air Theatre in Regent’s Park from 1987 to 2007.

For Regent’s Park he has directed Babes In Arms; The Fantasticks; Lady Be Good; The Card; Kiss Me Kate; A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum; Oh, What A Lovely War; High Society; H.M.S. Pinafore; (all nominated for Olivier awards),The  Pirates Of Penzance (Olivier nomination for Best Director 2000), Much Ado About Nothing; Androcles and the Lion; Look Here Old Son; The Two Gentlemen of Verona; Twelfth Night; A Midsummer Night’s Dream; A Connecticut Yankee; The Comedy of Errors; Paint Your Wagon; Gentlemen Prefer Blondes; The Music Man; Where’s Charley?; Camelot; Lady Be Good and The Boyfriend. Ian also acted in Regent’s Park and roles there included “Bottom” in A Midsummer Night’s Dream; “Sir Toby Belch” in Twelfth Night; “Dogberry” in Much Ado About Nothing; “Launce” in The Two Gentlemen of Verona and “Lord Brockhurst” in The Boyfriend.

His other directing credits include: The Secret Garden (Watermill Theatre, Newbury), Yeoman Of The Guard (Savoy Theatre), Peter Pan (Royal Festival Hall), High Society (Shaftesbury Theatre and National Tour), Pirates Of Penzance (West Yorkshire Playhouse and National Tour), Anything Goes (National Tour), Kiss Me Kate (Brisbane Festival), Lend Me a Tenor (Guilgud); Doctor in the House (UK Tour), The Invisible Man (Menier Chocolate Factory), Third Finger, Left Hand (Trafalgar 2), A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the Old Globe Playhouse in San Diego, USA, Afraid of The Dark (Charing Cross Theatre), Perfect Murder (National Tour), Annie Get Your Gun (UK Tour), The Mousetrap (St Martins Theatre), Wonderful Town (Arts Educational), Dead Sheep (Park Theatre), Peter Pan (Wimbledon), Sleeping Beauty (Woking), Lady Be Good (Arts Educational) Dead Sheep (UK Tour) and most recently, Million Dollar Quartet (UK Tour)

Ian was awarded the O.B.E. in 2007 for his work at The Open Air Theatre.

MICHAEL HOLT - DESIGNER

Michael’s design career has taken him to theatres throughout the United Kingdom for productions of opera, ballet and drama. He has been associated with playwright Alan Ayckbourn for over 20 years. His numerous designs for this author/director include: Surprises, Absurd Person Singular, Life of Riley, Communicating Doors, Awaking Beauty, A Trip to Scarborough, Intimate Exchanges, The Safari Party, What Every Woman Knows, Taking Steps, Wolf at the Door, Man of the Moment, Time and the Conways, and the much-praised Othello with Michael Gambon. He also designed the American premiere of Alan Ayckbourn’s Season’s Greetings in New York.

West End credits include: the long-running West End success The Woman in Black; Absurd Person Singular (Whitehall Theatre); The Glory of the Garden (Duke of York’s Theatre); Rough Justice (Apollo Theatre) and June Moon (Vaudeville Theatre). He designed Julius Caesar at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and the highly successful centennial touring production of Charley’s Aunt.

Recent touring and repertory theatre includes: Intimate Exchanges (Mercury Theatre, Colchester); Sugar Daddies (Oldham Coliseum); The Wind in the Willows (Birmingham Rep); Taking Steps (Oldham Coliseum); The Glass Menagerie, The Admirable Crichton and The Rivals (New Vic Theatre); Joking Apart and Special Occasions (Mill at Sonning); Private Lives (Oldham Coliseum); Taking Steps (Orange Tree Theatre); We’ll Always Have Paris (Mill at Sonning); Shining City (Derby LIVE); Man of the Moment (part of the Ayckbourn season, directed by Alan Ayckbourn – Royal & Derngate Theatres); Blithe Spirit (Oldham Coliseum); The Price (New Vic); These Four Streets (Birmingham Rep); My Brilliant Divorce (Nick Brooke Ltd); Tony & Twizzle: the Glory Years (LipService); An Inspector Calls (Oldham Coliseum); Jane Bond (LipService); Cider With Rosie (New Vic Theatre); Bedroom Farce, Deadlock and Strangers on a Train (Nick Brooke Ltd); Misery (New Vic Theatre); Framed and Arsenic and Old Lace (Nick Brooke Ltd); A Chorus of Disapproval (Stephen Joseph Theatre); The Turn of the Screw and Driving Miss Daisy (Oldham Coliseum); Mixed Feelings (TEG Productions Ltd); House and Garden (Salisbury Playhouse); Way Upstream (Stephen Joseph Theatre); The Safari Party (Hampstead Theatre); Snakes and Ladders (TEG Theatre Productions); Just Between Ourselves and Taking Steps (Mill at Sonning Theatre); Romeo and Juliet, and Big Maggie (the New Victoria Theatre) and Things We Do for Love (Salisbury Playhouse).

Future productions include: Gaslight (New Vic Theatre) and Bedroom Farce (Oldham Coliseum). Michael has also written a number of books on stage and costume design, and has published a book on the plays of Alan Ayckbourn.

MARK HOWETT - LIGHTING DESIGNER
MARTIN HODGSON - SOUND DESIGNER

Martin Hodgson was born in Darlington. , County Durham and has been a sound engineer and designer for many years. He was Head of Sound at Northern Stage, Newcastle where his design credits included 1984Animal Farm, Romeo and Juliet, Grimm’s Tales, More Grimm’s Tales The Princess and the Goblin and A Clockwork Orange. Sound designs for Live Theatre, Newcastle include Smack Family Robinson, Toast, A Nightingale Sang, The Lovers, Keepers of the Flame (co-production with RSC),Geoffs Dead, Disco for Sale, Up There in Lights, Me and Cilla,, Top Girls,  Motherland,  Blackbird, Jump!, The Pitmen Painters (National Theatre transfers, Volkstheater, Vienna and MTC Broadway),Tyne and Capt Amazing (Edinburgh Festival 2013/14)   and many other projects. For Bill Kenwright Productions he designed The Pitmen Painters and Three Days In May, for national tours and West End runs and the productions of The Governess and Chin Chin.

Recent sound designs include the regional tours of The Perfect Murder and Dead Simple for JASS Productions, All Our Sons for The Rose Theatre, Kingston and an immersive production of Samuel Beckett’s ‘Company’.

LAURA TISDALL – ORIGINAL MUSIC COMPOSER

AARON DOOTSON – ASSOCIATE LIGHTING DESIGNER

TASMIN ROSE – PRODUCTION MANAGER

ROGER RICHARDSON – COMPANY STAGE MANAGER

CHRIS LAMBERT – DEPUTY STAGE MANAGER

SUSAN BUCKLEY – WARDROBE MISTRESS

CHRISSY MADISON – COSTUME SUPERVISOR

FERN BELVINS – PROPS BUYER

NICOLA BUYS – PROPS BUYER