Stage set for TV favourites in Peter James Dead Simple tour

Rik Makarem

Emmerdale’s Rik Makarem, is the latest TV favourite to be cast in Peter James’ latest stage thriller, Dead Simple, which takes to the road for an extensive UK in 2015.

Based on James’ all-time best-selling novel, it’s the second Roy Grace detective story to be adapted for the stage following The Perfect Murder.

Dead Simple opens at Dartford’s Orchard Theatre in January. The full line-up is now Tina Hobley (Holby City) as Ashley Harper, Jamie Lomas (Eastenders, Hollyoaks) as Michael Harrison and Gray O’ Brien (Coronation Street, The Perfect Murder) as Detective Roy Grace.

The last two names to join the company are Rik Makarem (Emmerdale, Torchwood) who will play Mark Warren and Michael McKell (Doctors, Emmerdale) as Bradley Cunningham.

MichaelMckell, Dead Simple

Rik Makarem is best known for starring for four years in Emmerdale but has also starred in the BBC’s Torchwood and ITV’s Foyle’s War.

A classically trained actor from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Rik is a previous winner of the prestigious Laurence Olivier Bursary in association with the Society of London Theatre.

Michael McKell is perhaps best known for his three year starring role in Doctors as well as playing DC Nick Henshall in Emmerdale, D.I Trevor Hands in ITV’s Murder Investigation Team and Channel 4’s Totally Frank.

On stage Michael has starred in Blood Brothers, played the role of Stoner in Ben Elton’s Tonight’s the Night and the Olivier winning Crazy for You.

His film credits include Essex Boys with Sean Bean.

The cast is completed with Joshua Brown, Marc Small, Sarah Baxendale and Alan Freestone.

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.

As time runs out and the terror grows, Detective Superintendent Roy Grace tries to solve his mysterious disappearance, but begins to fear that Michael will never be found in time.

Peter James & Dead Simple producer Josh Andrews. Photo by Helen Maybanks.

Author Peter James said of the new casting: “We are blessed with the cast for Dead Simple.

“All of them are actors I really admire and respect, and to see them come together, for the first time, at the read-through of the play was a truly magical experience for me.”

2015 TOUR DATES (Tina Hobley is confirmed to perform until May 2).

January 14-17, Orchard Theatre, Dartford
January 20-24, Theatre Royal, Norwich
January 26-31, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry
February 2-7, King’s Theatre, Edinburgh
February 9-14, Malvern Theatre
February 16-21, Cambridge Arts Theatre
February 23-28, Theatre Roiyal Brighton
March 2-7, Manchester Opera House
March 9-14, Richmond Theare
April 14-18, Theatre Royal, Nottingham
April 20-25, Wyvern Theatre, Swindon
April 28-May 2, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton
May 5-9, New Victoria Theatre, Woking
May 11-16, Theatre Royal, Bath
May 18-23, Theatre Royal, Glasgow
May 26-30, Theatre Royal, Newcastle
June 2-6, New Theatre, Cardiff
June 8-13, Milton Keynes Theatre
June 15-20, Truro Hall For Cornwall
June 22-27, Southend Palace Theatre
June 29-July 4, New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham
July 6-11, Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury
July 13-18, Connaught Theatre, Worthing.

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