THE CASE OF THE FRIGHTENED LADY Brings A Glittering Cast To Coventry
Midlands murder mystery fans can expect to another gripping evening as The Classic Thriller Theatre Company return to the Belgrade Theatre. After last year's adaptation of Ruth Rendell's A Judgement in Stone left audiences waiting with baited breath for more, The Case of the Frightened Lady is set to follow its success 12-16 June.
Newly adapted for the stage by Antony Lampard this page-turning classic by "king of the detective thriller" Edgar Wallace sets its scene amidst the grandeur of Mark's Priory, the ancestral home of the wealthy Lebanon family. Called in to investigate a ruthless murder, Inspector Tanner soon learns that nothing is as it seems, uncovering a shocking and closely guarded secret as he moves towards the heart of the mystery.
One of the most popular and prolific crime writers of the 20th century, author Edgar Wallace boasts an extensive bibliography of over 150 detective novels, as well as having penned the script for the iconic film King Kong. His books are now widely regarded as having provided the bedrock for the modern thriller.
Bill Kenwright's The Classic Thriller Theatre Company continues the phenomenal success of The Agatha Christie Theatre Company, which sold around two million tickets over a decade of first class productions. Drawing on Kenwright's wealth of producing experience, the company now continues to expand its repertoire, revisiting works by novelists and playwrights from across the decades.
True to form, this latest instalment boasts a glittering cast of stage and screen stars, including Gray O'Brien as Inspector Tanner. Well known to TV audiences for his portrayal of the villainous businessman Tony Gordon in ITV's Coronation Street and as Dr Richard McCaig in BBC medical drama Casualty, O'Brien has more recently appeared in the ITV crime drama The Loch, which aired earlier this year.
Catapulted to worldwide fame at the age of just 15, Oliver Phelps first made his name as Ron Weasley's brother George in the Harry Potter series, one of the highest-grossing film franchises of all time. Now he makes his professional stage debut as Tanner's fellow officer Detective Sergeant Totti. Other credits include the fictionalised Lenny Henry biopic life Danny and the Human Zoo and TV series Kingdom, in which he starred alongside Stephen Fry and Celia Imrie.
Taking over from Rula Lenska as Lady Lebanon is Deborah Grant. As well as appearing in Not Going Out, Bergerac and Roger, Roger for the BBC, Grant is an experienced stage performer, having begun her career at four years old. Since then, she's gone on to perform in numerous West End and national touring productions, including a starring role opposite Michael Crawford in the West End debut of Barnum.
Denis Lill, who starred as the much-loved Mr Rose in the long-running TV series The Royal, joins the cast as Dr Amersham. As well as popular television series including Z Cars, Doctor Who, Bergerac, Blackadder and Only Fools and Horses, he also appears in the 1989 movie Batman and the 1996 film version of Evita.
Best known for playing original Coronation Street character Dennis Tanner from 1960-1968 and from 2011-2014, Philip Lowrie takes on the role of Kelver. Lowrie has also starred in the television series War & Peace, Rules of Engagement and Home Fires.
A stalwart of the Agatha Christie Company and The Classic Thriller Theatre Company, Ben Nealon returns as the mysterious Lord Lebanon. Known for his role as Lt Forsythe in the award-winning drama series Soldier Soldier, and for his appearances in The Bill, Casualty, Doctors and EastEnders, he also featured in the Oscar-nominated Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India.
After making her TV debut in Casualty at the age of 9, April Pearson had her first big break as Michelle Richardson in the BAFTA-winning TV drama Skins. Her film debut came just a few years later opposite Alex Pettyfer in Tormented. Now she joins The Case of the Frightened Lady in the role of Isla Crane.
Completing the starring line-up as Gilder is West End leading man Glenn Carter, whose musical credits include Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Whistle Down the Wind, Grease and Les Miserables, as well as the London premiere of Jersey Boys, in which he played Tommy DeVito. But perhaps his most memorable performance was as Jesus in the Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber classic Jesus Christ Superstar, a role he played in the West End, on Broadway and in the film.
The Case of the Frightened Lady is the third show directed by Roy Marsden for The Classic Thriller Theater Company, following Rehearsal for Murder and A Judgement in Stone. Earlier directing credits include West End runs of Noël Coward's Volcano and Agatha Christie's A Daughter's a Daughter. Marsden is also a prolific actor, known particularly for his role as Adam Dalgliesh in ITV's P.D. James series, which he played for 15 years.
The Case of the Frightened Lady runs at the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry from Tuesday 12 until Saturday 16 June. Tickets are available to book now by calling the box office on 024 7655 3055, or visiting www.belgrade.co.uk where prices are even cheaper.