Peter James, the best-selling crime novelist, has had his book Dead Simple given the stage treatment – and the show of the same name comes to the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton from Tuesday.
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.
Tina Hobley, best known for playing Chrissie Williams in Holby City, plays Michael’s fiancée Ashley.
She says: ‘When I was sent the script, it is a dream part for a female lead. I get to play four characters rolled into one.
‘You think butter wouldn’t melt with Ashley, but before the end of the first act you realise there is more to her than you would think.
‘I hadn’t done theatre for a long time so to come back with a character like Ashley is what appealed to me.’
When I was sent the script, it is a dream part for a female lead. I get to play four characters rolled into one.Tina Hobley
Tina is originating the part on stage, which she says is liberating.
‘The show has a different energy about it because it is new. It is the dream ticket to originate a part because you can’t be compared to anyone.
‘Peter was sat in his study writing the character however many years ago and now I am bringing it to life.
‘We have had lots of input from Peter and he has become a great friend.’
The plot- filled twist was a big draw for Tina. ‘You can hear the audience gasping throughout.
‘When I read the script at home, I was turning the pages like “oh no, that can’t be... oh my God, it is! I love Peter’s books now – I have three on the go.’
So how did Tina get into the shoes of Ashley?
‘Well my producer might say I’m not very different to the character, but that’s a lie,’ she jokes.