Following the nationwide success of The Perfect Murder this year, Dead Simple – Peter James’ all-time best-selling novel will be the second claustrophobically thrilling stage adaptation in conjunction with producer Joshua Andrews (The Perfect Murder, A Streetcar Named Desire). The previously announced Tina Hobley (Holby City) as Ashley Harper, Jamie Lomas (Eastenders, Hollyoaks) as Michael Harrison and Gray O’ Brien (Coronation Street) as Detective Roy Grace are now joined by Rik Makarem (Emmerdale, Torchwood) in the role of Mark Warren and Michael McKell (Doctors, Emmerdale) as Bradley Cunningham to complete the all-star lead cast. Opening at Dartford’s Orchard Theatre in January, the 2015 UK tour will visit the Theatre Royal Nottingham from 13 – 18 April 2015.
Following the release of his latest page-turner Want You Dead in its paperback format on October 24th, the most recent best-selling hit from the pen of author Peter James hit the Nielscan Book Chart top-spot within three days of release, in the same week where Dead Simple – released in 2005 – was at No.3 in the UK Kindle downloads where it sat in the top-ten for five consecutive weeks.
Rik Makarem is best known for starring for four years in Emmerdale but has also starred in the BBC’s Torchwood and ITV’s Foyle’s War. A classically trained actor from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Rik is a previous winner of the prestigious Laurence Olivier Bursary in association with the Society of London Theatre. His theatre credits include Passing By at the Tristan Bates theatre and The Dishwashers starring alongside David Essex.
Michael McKell is perhaps best known for his three year starring role in Doctors as well as playing DC Nick Henshall in Emmerdale, D.I Trevor Hands in ITV’sMurder Investigation Team and Channel 4’s Totally Frank. On stage Michael has starred in Blood Brothers, played the role of Stoner in Ben Elton’s Tonight’s the Night and the Olivier winning Crazy for You. His film credits include Essex Boys with Sean Bean.
The cast is completed by Joshua Brown as Davey Wheeler, Marc Small and Detective Sergeant Glenn Branson, Sarah Baxendale as Zoe Frame and Alan Freestone as Robbo.
Michael Harrison thinks he has it all; great career, good friends and a beautiful fiancée. But when his stag night prank goes horribly wrong, Michael finds himself alone and staring death in the face. As time runs out and the terror grows, Detective Superintendent Roy Grace tries to solve his mysterious disappearance, but begins to fear that Michael will never be found in time.
Olivier Award winner Ian Talbot directs an all-star cast led by Tina Hobley who returns to the stage having graced TV screens for the last 12 years as ward sister Chrissie Williams in the BBC 1’s Holby City as well as roles in Coronation Street and Harbour Lights before that and was seen earlier this year in Celebrity Master Chef. She currently presents the prime time Sunday morning programme on Smooth FM.
Award-winning TV heartthrob, Jamie Lomas has starred for the last year in Eastenders as the murderous Jake Stone and before that played bad boy Warren Fox for five years in Channel 4’s Hollyoaks. And Gray O’Brien, the award-winning star of Coronation Street, TV series Titanic, Peak Practice and Casualty as well as Sleuth in the West End, will follow up his critically acclaimed performance in The Perfect Murder by playing the famous Detective Roy Grace in this gripping, chilling, thriller that has all the classic suspense, twists and turns of a best-selling Peter James novel.
Peter James has gone straight in at no 1 in the Sunday Times bestseller charts seven times in the last four years with his Roy Grace series – with last year’s Roy Grace novel, Dead Man’s Time going straight to No.1 in the Autumn of 2013. The international bestselling crime thriller novelist has won numerous awards both in the UK and in the USA and In 2012 Peter won the coveted US Barry Award for Best British Crime Thriller. He has sold over 15 million books of his Roy Grace series, and is published in 36 languages. Dead Simple has itself sold over 2 million copies around the word and has been a No.1 best seller in the UK, Germany, Italy, France, Holland and Russia.
Dead Simple is the second of James’ novels to be adapted by Shaun McKenna and produced by Peter James and Joshua Andrews in association with Paul Tyrer and Jamie Clark at the Booking Office. As well as The Perfect Murder, Andrews has recently co-produced the sell-out run of A Streetcar Named Desire with the Young Vic – the fastest selling show in the theatre’s history – which opened to rave reviews and starred Gillian Anderson, Ben Foster and Vanessa Kirby. An ‘NT Live’ broadcast of A Streetcar Named Desire was screened live in cinemas around the world earlier this year.
Author Peter James said the new casting:
“As a writer, all my characters begin in my mind. I flesh them out for the printed page. But nothing can compare to the joy of seeing them turn into real flesh and blood. We were blessed with both casts of The Perfect Murder and we are just as blessed now with the cast for Dead Simple. All of them are actors I really admire and respect, and to see them come together, for the first time, at the read-through of the play was a truly magical experience for me.”
Peter James took part in a photo call experiencing Michael Harrison’s terrifyingly claustrophobic encounter