Edwards, star of TV shows Hollyoaks and Holby City, will making an eagerly awaited return to the stage to play Prime Minister hopeful Peter George in this hard-hitting political thriller packed with scandal which will take the audience on a rollercoaster ride of unexpected twists and turns.
He says the role is an ‘exciting opportunity’ for him – and he can’t wait to try out a Blackpool donkey ride!
It must be exciting to be taking the lead role in a world premiere play. How do you feel about performing this role in Hilary Bonner’s Dead Lies?
I’m very excited to take on the challenge of this new play. It is an exciting piece of work that combines a wonderful writing with a twisty story and addresses issues of the day at the same time. This has to be a world first. This is a fantastic opportunity for me. The play has that rare combination of the right script at the right time. I have been waiting for such a strong piece of drama to come along for quite some time. Not only because it is sexy, scandalous and mysterious it is incredibly on point, I’m delighted.
Can you tell us a bit about your character?
I play Peter George, the would-be PM who is an honest politician who actually wants to make the world a better place and believes he is the man to do it. If I could quantify his character in three words, they would be smart, compassionate and honest. I can relate to him as I’ve always secretly had political aspirations and I would certainly agree with all his policies. I think it will be interesting to see our audience responses to his speeches as I think they will certainly ring true for today and may chime with people in an interesting way.
Writer Hilary Bonner has said that as soon as she saw you, she saw the Peter George that was in her mind when writing the play! How was it working closely with Hilary in the development of the play and bringing her character to life?
She is a generous soul, so it’s not been daunting at all. She allows us to mould our speech a little to suit how we are portraying her characters, I adore her. I love crime fiction, I read that obsessively, so it has been wonderful to work with one of the UK’s top crime writers. As this is a brand-new role have you been able to make the character your own at all? And do you have a favourite scene to play on the show? As we’re speaking, we’re at early stages so the character will develop, but I feel very different when I am Peter. I like being Peter, I feel comfortable and that’s always a good sign. My final scene is my favourite - for reasons I cannot disclose…
You’re going to be travelling the UK to tour Dead lies. Are there any particular venues you are excited to be visiting?
I am particularly looking forward to Newcastle as my family are of Geordie heritage so all my cousins and uncles will come to see the show. I’m also looking forward to Guildford as my family will come there and Blackpool for the donkey rides.
Why do you think people should come and see Dead Lies?
This is a rollercoaster show which will keep you guessing until the very last minute. It’s also great to support new writing. There will be some fantastic performances, a stunning set and it may make you think about politics… whilst trying to solve a mystery!
And finally… can you tell us Whodunnit?
… It was the Downing St cat!
Joining Jeremy on stage will be Alicia Charles (Coronation Street, Holby City) as Kate Compton, Press Secretary to Peter George; Portia Booroff (Doctors, EastEnders) as Peter’s devoted wife Jo George, and Claire Dyson, fresh from appearing opposite Liam Neeson in Made In Italy, as ex-supermodel Stephanie Jones.
Dead Lies is inspired by the infamous Jeremy Thorpe scandal of the 1970s and is set against the political backdrop of current day Westminster during a fiercely fought election campaign. Peter George promises a new kind of politics beyond sleaze and spin. He is welcomed as a Messiah by the British public and expected to restore trust in a broken political system. But a shocking secret lies in the past of our country’s hero. As buried truths rise from the ashes, personal and political influences begin to shake the faith of those closest to him, and a media cascade threatens to bring down Britain’s new saviour…
Dead Lies is a rollercoaster ride of a play, packed with twists and turns until the very last scene. How far will Peter go to save his own career, and how far will those around him go to save their own skins?
Hilary Bonner’s Dead Lies is at Blackpool Grand Theatre on Friday 20 and Saturday May 21, 2022