What’s on Live – Midlands – March 08

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Murderous Intent

Casualty favourite Simon MacCorkindale is returning to the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre, appearing alongside ex-Robin Hood star Michael Praed in a new production of Sleuth. We take a look at the ever-popular touring show…

Simon MacCorkindale is back at the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre for the second time in just over a year.

The popular actor, who’s nowadays best recognised for his portrayal of Harry Harper in the BBC TV drama series Casualty, is returning to the Midlands to star as Andrew Wyke in a new touring production of Anthony Shaffer’s Sleuth. He will be joined by another familiar televi­sion face – Michael Praed, a one­time Robin Hood and Dynasty star. Sleuth tells the story of Andrew Wyke’s devious attempt to gain revenge on his wife’s lover, Milo Tindle. Wyke cajoles Tindle into burgling his property, promising him the money, but in reality plans to kill the younger man and claim to police that he thought he was a prowler.

Shaffer’s play is extremely well-known, courtesy of a classic film version made in the early 1970s starring Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine. The play was again made as a film last year, under Kenneth Branagh’s direction, and once again starred Caine (this time in the Olivier role) and Jude Law. Sleuth is exactly the kind of theatrical fare for which Simon MacCorkindale has become well known – his previous appearance at the Grand was in an Agatha Christie whodunit. And, despite his success in Casualty, he’s extremely happy to be ‘treading the boards’ once again.

“I think theatre’s the lifeblood for actors of my generation because it’s where we all started,” says Simon. “It’s probably different now because there are so many TV opportunities for young actors, but you don’t get that audience reac­tion with TV, and having immediate response is important for an actor.” Simon’s open-minded about his future career, but is adamant that there’s one thing he will never do -Reality TV!

“No, it’s not for me. I can see how it can help some people’s careers, but to be honest, I regard it as ‘humiliation TV’, the equivalent of bear-baiting in the Victorian era, and not surprisingly, that really doesn’t appeal to me!” Sleuth runs at the Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton, from 7 to 12 April.

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