Soap star on stage

Photo: Johan Persson
Photo: Johan Persson
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Former Eastenders actor Shaun Williamson will be taking a very different role when he appears in One Man, Two Guvnors later this month.

Best known for playing Barry Evans on the soap, he will play Charlie Clench in the award winning show when it comes to the Royal and Derngate in Northampton.

The play sees Francis Henshall who, fired from his skiffle band, becomes minder to Roscoe Crabbe. But Roscoe is really Rachel, posing as her own dead brother – who’s been killed by her boyfriend Stanley Stubbers. Francis spots the chance of an extra meal ticket and takes a job with one Stanley Stubbers – but to prevent discovery, he must keep his two guvnors apart.

Shaun said: “It is an unusual show, it is very similar to a pantomime and the plays of Joan Littlewood.

“I spend a lot of my time running around the stage, which has been great for me. But it is a very musical show and there are performances from everyone.

“The show has been going really well, we have been touring with it since May and go through to next March and we have been getting some lovely feedback.”

The play, originally an Italian piece from 1743, was adapted in 2011 and saw James Corden play the lead role in both the West End and Broadway.

Shaun says he prefers to work on the stage and outlines some of his favourite roles on the boards.

He said: “I went to drama school late. I finished when I was 30 having studied Chekhov and Shakespeare.

“But I was gobbled up by Eastenders and stayed there for 10 years. But ever since I got to appear in The Ladykillers on stage, I got to be in Porridge and The Rocky Horror Show which have all been fantastic.”

But he says he doesn’t regret taking on the role in Eastenders.

Shaun said: “I had a fantastic time on the show and had a great exit being pushed down a cliff. I think it was the last time Eastenders had ratings like that because everything started going digital after that.

“It also led to the work I did with Ricky (Gervais) and Stephen (Merchant) on Extras .

“And it has enabled me to go on to work on some great theatre roles. I am very proud of the fact that I am only one of two people to play the character of Fletch in Porridge when I did that on the stage.

“You have to do a little bit of television every so often so it keeps your face in the public eye. I am just about to appear in a film called Houdini alongside Adrien Brody and then Plebs on ITV2.”

One Man, Two Guvnors will be performed from September 22 to 27.

Tickets for the show cost between £12 and £33.50 and can be booked by calling 01604 624811 or by visiting www.royalandderngate.co.uk.