Actor Robert Daws thinks about murdering his wife six nights a week and twice when there’s a matinee.
Considering the years he’s spent in medical dramas you’d think he’d go for poison but he has to be far more imaginative while starring in Peter James entertaining stage play, The Perfect Murder, which comes to Aylesbury Waterside Theatre from October 20.
Luckily for real life wife, actress Amy Robbins who appeared as Jill Weatherill in The Royal alongside her spouse, any murderous intent stays firmly on the stage – well it did until he developed a yearning for writing about crime.
Essex-born Daws, a 55-year-old father of three now living in Ampthill, Bedfordshire, has been entertaining stage and screen audiences for more than 30 years.
TV included comedies The Outside Edge and Roger Roger, and roles in Corrie, Doc Martin and New Tricks.
He’s best known as Dr. Gordon Ormerod in The Royal, a part he played for eight years before he, and the series, came to a sticky end.
But over recent weeks he has been appearing on stage as frustrated husband Victor Smiley who wants to do away with his wife Joan (Dawn Steele) not realising that she has the same intentions.
What is primarily a who-dunnit turns into a crime romp that is darkly humorous.
“I am having a lovely time,” said Robert this week. “I was asked to do it last year as I enjoyed Peter’s novella very much, but I just couldn’t do it.
“But then it was going out on tour again and I could make the dates.
“I’m a big fan of Peter’s work. They’re funny and darker than you’d imagine. Very black humour.
“Peter’s book is actually quite different from the stage adaptation (by Shaun McKenna) but crime fiction is an area that I’m very interested in.”
When not in rehearsals Robert has unleashed a new talent as a crime writer. His first novella, The Rock, was released in 2012 and became an Amazon bestseller.
A second is due out after Christmas and a third book is already in the pipeline. It looks as though Peter James may have some competition.
“I had eight enjoyable years with The Royal but we could see the writing on the wall when Heartbeat wasn’t renewed.
“It was sad, because we had such a lovely time making it. I have very fond memories of that time.
“There was a lovely core company and we had wonderful guests. It was tremendous to turn up for work and find you were working with some of your heroes.
“But I have gone from a doctor in the 1960s to another from further back.
“I have been filming the new version of Poldark for the BBC and play Dr Thomas Choake, who is the town curmudgeon.
“It’s great that I get to vent my spleen and be miserable as it is so against type.
“We had the original Poldark, Robin Ellis, in for three days filming and it was lovely to see him as I remember watching him.
“But I don’t mind being typecast as another doctor, they’re all different in their own way.
“As I tell any aspiring actor: ‘Keep your head down and keep going.'”
The Perfect Murder runs from October 20-25 at Aylesbury Waterside.
Remaining touring dates:
October 27-November 1, New Wimbledon Theatre November 4-8, New Theatre, Cardiff November 10-15, New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham