Here is what will tempt EastEnders’ Ian Beale to depart Albert Square
Plotlines in EastEnders over the last few weeks have shown that more people want the character Ian Beale dead than alive.
So it seems fitting that Adam Woodyatt, the actor who plays the reviled businessman and councillor, is leaving Albert Square to tour in a theatrical thriller called Looking Good Dead.
In the stage play based on Peter James’ novel featuring the much-loved detective Roy Grace, Adam’s character inadvertently witnesses a vicious murder. He reports it to police, placing both himself and his family in grave danger.
Ahead of the play’s visit to Sheffield and Nottingham this year, Adam said: “I am so excited to be swapping the square for the road in the world premiere stage production of Peter’s fantastic novel Looking Good Dead. I can’t wait to tour the UK and to experience the feeling of performing this thrilling play in front of a live audience every night.
“There are not many things that would persuade me to take a break from EastEnders, but this is one of them.”
Looking Good Dead marks Adam’s return to stage in a play for the first time since 1982 as a 13-year-old in Tom Stoppard’s On The Razzle.
He is the longest-serving cast member in EastEnders having appeared continuously as Ian Beale since the show began in 1985. For his portrayal of the role he was honoured in 2013 with the Lifetime Achievement Award and in 2015 as best actor at the British Soap Awards.
Adam has also appeared on many TV programmes including Robot Wars, Dream House, A Question of Sport, presented The National Lottery draw live and in 2019 was a contestant on Celebrity Masterchef.
He has also appeared in the pantomimes Peter Pan, Snow White, Aladdin, Mother Goose and Cinderella.
Looking Good Dead is the fifth of Peter James’ books to be brought to the stage, following The House on Cold Hil starring Joe McFadden and Rita Simons in 2019, Not Dead Enough starring Shane Richie and Laura Whitmore in 2017, The Perfect Murder starring Shane Richie and Jessie Wallace in 2016 and Dead Simple starring Tina Hobley in 2015.
Peter said: “I’ve been humbled by the incredible reaction to my plays over the last few years and we now look forward to being able to thrill theatre audiences again, with this new play in 2021.
"I am thrilled that Adam Woodyatt is going to star in Looking Good Dead. He’s a wonderful actor and I can’t wait to see him play the multi-layered character of Tom Bryce brilliantly.”
Peter is the creator of the much-loved Detective Superintendent Roy Grace. He has topped the Sunday Times best seller list 17 times and has achieved global book sales of more than 120 million copies, He has won more than 40 awards, including the WHSmith Best Crime Author of All Time Award, Crime Writers’ Association Diamond Dagger and a BAFTA nomination for The Merchant of Venice starring Al Pacino and Jeremy Irons for which he was an executive producer.
Peter has jointly produced Looking Good Dead with award-winning dramatist Shaun McKenna.
Looking Good Dead runs at Sheffield Lyceum from April 19-24 and at Nottingham Theatre Royal from July 26-31. For Sheffield tickets, go to www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk; for Nottingham tickets, go to www.trch.co.uk