The walk in hit show

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it be­cause he has these dif­fi­cult par­ents, poor and re­li­giously strict. And he works in a paint shop.

“He’s a re­ally un­happy guy, un­til he gets to the disco. Then he meets with Stephanie whom we learn treats him in the way he treats other peo­ple.

Richard adds, smil­ing: “It’s a crowd-pleas­ing show. You have the grit­ti­ness of the drama, the fan­tas­tic dance and the mu­sic of the Bee Gees thrown in as well.”

The theatre mu­si­cal uses the de­vice of hav­ing three “Bee Gees” in the cast to per­form the likes of Stayin’ Alive and How Deep Is Your Love.

“These guys per­form the songs so well. It re­ally feels like the sound­track to the film is be­ing played out as well.

“And the theatre floor lights up so it all it looks like an amaz­ing dance floor. It’s re­ally a danc­ing in the aisles show.”

Richard, who has also ap­peared in Hol­lyoaks, re­veals how he came up with the very unique Brook­lyn ac­cent.

“I go to Amer­ica a talk­ing in a Brook­lyn ac­cent. Thank­fully, Jade was fan­tas­tic. She’s a dancer with Birm­ing­ham Royal Bal­let so she un­der­stands what I need to do.”

His hol­i­day as Tony paid off. “By the time I got to re­hearsals I was in.”

But what of the rel­e­vance of Satur­day Night Fever? Does the story still stand up to­day?

“Very much so,” he main­tains. “This is a story of a young guy strug­gling, work­ing in a paint store. It’s so rel­e­vant to­day with so many peo­ple on zero hours con­tracts. With Trump threat­en­ing to build a wall to keep the Mex­i­cans out and peo­ple with split fam­i­lies striv­ing for a bet­ter life, it’s in­ter­est­ing to look at it and think “How far have we come?

“Forty years on, and sim­i­lar fam­i­lies are talk­ing about not be­ing em­ployed and try­ing to break free. It’s all still there.”

He adds: “And this pe­riod re­ally her­alds the be­gin­ning of a strong women’s move­ment, when misog­yny and el­e­ments of racism are be­gin­ning to be tack­led.”

Does hav­ing the Ca­su­alty pro­file help land roles such as this?

“Yes, I guess it does. And I’ve re­ally en­joyed the move into act­ing.”

Richard made his stage act­ing de­but in 2008 with his per­for­mance of the mon­ster in Mary Shelley’s Franken­stein at The Royal Play­house Northamp­ton, which earned fab­u­lous re­views for his ath­letic and emo­tional por­trayal.

“When I was danc­ing with Matthew Bourne I al­ways wanted to act. In fact, Ca­su­alty wrote that role for me and when of­fered I just jumped on it.”

His TV char­ac­ter was killed off. But Richard is san­guine about the de­ci­sion.

“It’s a great hon­our when they feel a char­ac­ter is big enough to de­serve that sort of im­pact. I loved the show, for the ex­pe­ri­ence and the great time. And it does help with the pro­file.”

Now, here he is act­ing out one of the coolest screen char­ac­ters ever. And dis­play­ing his danc­ing skills to packed au­di­ences.

“I re­ally have the best of both worlds,” he says in grate­ful voice.

• Satur­day Night Fever, King’s Theatre, Oc­to­ber 16-20

‘‘ He’s a re­ally un­happy guy... un­til he gets to the disco

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