Interview with Eastenders Stars About Appearing in Looking Good Dead at The Alexandra, Birmingham

Interview with Eastenders Stars About Appearing in Looking Good Dead at The Alexandra, Birmingham

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Posted 2022-02-17 by Andy Colemanfollow

Mon 21 Feb 2022 - Sat 26 Feb 2022

EastEnders icons Adam Woodyatt and Laurie Brett star in the Peter James crime thriller Looking Good Dead at The Alexandra in Birmingham, February 21 – 26, 2022.

Weekend Notes caught up with them for a chat.

What can audiences expect when they come to see Looking Good Dead?

Adam: It's a really brilliant production. Peter James' story is excellent and the script has been adapted beautifully. It's got thrills, fun and twists and turns.

Laurie: They're going to be coming to see a murder mystery – it's very Peter James. It's a story about a normal married couple who suffer the consequences after bringing an abandoned memory stick home. There's going to be lots of laughs, gasps, and a brilliant twist. I can normally work out a twist at the end, and I can say that when I read the script for the first time, I did not see it coming! The outcome is very surprising.



**Who do you play in the show and can you relate to them in any way?
**
Adam: I play Tom Bryce, a businessman, husband and father; basically a very normal bloke. So he's easy to relate to in many ways.

Laurie: Kellie is a very interesting character. On the surface, she seems like a suburban housewife but she's actually multi-layered. For me, she's a woman who has some sadness in her, a real sense of unfulfillment – unfulfilled talents, unfulfilled dreams – and she has some secrets. She's like a swan that glides along, looking good, but she's frantically paddling underneath. She has a lot of guilt and regrets, which for me is very interesting to play. I don't really relate to her as I don't have any regrets and I wouldn't put myself in the same position that she puts herself in.



You've previously worked together as a married couple on Eastenders (Ian and Jane Beale). How does it differ working together this time around?

Adam: This time it's on stage and not on TV. It's great working with Laurie again, it's very easy, comfortable. There is a familiarity that is just there.

Laurie: It's no different at all. Adam and I had an instant chemistry way back in 2004, and whether it's on stage or on screen, we've got a shorthand that you've either got or you haven't, so we're very lucky in that respect. We know each other so well, so it's a great thing getting to play with the characters and explore their dynamic. It's no different to being on the telly, we just have to be slightly different technically. It's an absolute joy.

What are your fondest memories from being together in Albert Square?

Adam: %%There were so many moments… the live episode, the tandem, the braying horse! And I'm looking forward to having more memorable moments.
%%
Laurie: There are so many, there's too many to even think about. One that sticks out was on my eighth audition for EastEnders. Out of the corner of my eye I could see this person's head popping around the corner while I was filming a monologue to camera – it was Adam. After my audition he introduced himself and escorted me out of the studio. When I actually joined the show, he just went, "I knew it would be you!" From the minute we met we just couldn't stop chatting, we really get on, and understand one another.

Do you enjoy the novels of Peter James?

Adam: I have read Looking Good Dead and really enjoyed it, despite not being a massive reader. I'm hoping that the show will appeal to fans of Peter James' novels and many more people as well. When I read the book, I was kept guessing the entire time, and I hope we can keep that excitement for audiences.

Laurie: I'll be honest and admit that, until working on this production, I hadn't actually read a Peter James novel. However, I really enjoyed Looking Good Dead, so I'll definitely be reading some more after this tour.



**Why do you think the stage adaptations of Peter's books have been so successful?
**
Adam: The adaptations are always faithful to the book, but with a twist or a tiny change so that even someone who knows the book incredibly well isn't 100 per cent certain what is going to happen, which adds a brilliant element of surprise and anticipation. Added to that, as well as the thrills there's some good humour in the plays. I think there's a lot to look forward to in Looking Good Dead.

Laurie: I think murder mystery and crime stories, such as Agatha Christie's Poirot and Miss Marple, have long been a part of British culture, which makes stage productions in this genre greatly appealing to the British public and the Peter James plays are a very successful modern-day version of that, which appeals to today's audiences.



Why do you think audiences love to see a good thriller on stage?

Adam: I really enjoy a good thriller. I'm not one for horrors, but something that makes you jump a bit and gets your adrenaline going is great entertainment. If we can draw people in and make them believe everything and end with a sharp intake of breath, then I think we have done our job. It's one of those chances to get a thrill in a safe space.

Laurie: %%I think people just love a good mystery, myself included, and we love to have a go at guessing 'whodunnit'.
%%
**You've appeared on both stage and screen, do you have a preference?
**
Adam: What has really appealed to me about being part of Looking Good Dead is getting that live reaction. EastEnders has had massive responses when we have done live episodes, especially, for me, in 2015. I loved it. I loved that feeling of immediacy and knowing that what happens in this moment is what the audience will see there and then. I love that buzz. I've done pantomimes over the years which are always a favourite thing for me to do, so the prospect of doing a theatre tour is really exciting.

Laurie: I started performing on stage at the age of five as a dancer and I do love being on stage. Being able to see, hear and feel an audience is an electric experience. It's very different to screen work, though, and requires a totally different technique and process. If I had to choose between the two, I would probably choose working on screen just because love the subtlety and technique involved in working well behind a camera.



#birmingham_city_centre
#central_birmingham
#Drama
#indoor
#interviews
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#february
!date 21/02/2022 -- 26/02/2022
%wnbirmingham
70615 - 2023-01-26 01:48:09

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