» Soap star Ian Kelsey takes to the stage in The Verdict
SOAP fans are used to seeing him as the 90s ‘teen heart throb’ in Emmerdale, or the resident bad boy of Casualty or even more recently braving the cobbles of Coronation Street.
But now Ian Kelsey is taking on perhaps one of his most dramatic roles to date in the critically acclaimed courtroom sensation The Verdict at the Everyman Theatre in Cheltenham.
Now, Ian’s no stranger to the stage having already performed in The Shawshank Redemption National Tour - the theatre adaptation of the Stephen King novel and, of course, the famous film.
The story follows Frank Galvin, a washed up veteran lawyer and an alcoholic who, according to Ian, “has people in his pocket and takes easy jobs as a lawyer.”
However, Ian’s character is presented with one last chance to redeem himself when he is given an open-and-shut medical malpractice case that no one thinks he can win.
Up against the unforgiving medical establishment and the Catholic Church, he courageously refuses an out of court settlement, believing it is negligence that has condemned a young mother.
Smelling a cover up however, he instead takes the case and the entire legal system to court.
With so many iconic television roles to his name, it’s easy to assume that this role would be a walk in the park for Ian.
However, despite starring in medical drama Casualty, Ian says that grappling with the medical jargon has been one of the most complicated elements of the role.
But Ian says that nailing the medical terminology and making sure the audience understands it is essential for the show.
The Verdict has already visited Coventry, Darlington and Hereford before stopping off at the Everyman Theatre for seven shows.
And those who have been lucky enough to already see the show seem to have loved it.
Ian said: “It’s nice to talk to the audience afterwards and hear that everyone has enjoyed it.”
Without spoiling too much though, Ian reveals that the audience are in for a real treat.
The set designers seem to have really out done themselves - the first act predominantly focuses on Frank Galvin’s office and the local bar that he hangs out at.
And Ian says that you really do feel like you’re in a bar.
Everything shifts in the second act though, as we are taken into the courtroom and the audience are transformed into the jury and you really are encouraged to join in - something that Ian says everyone has.
The Verdict runs at Cheltenham’s Everyman Theatre until Saturday, Feberuary 23. For more information or to book tickets visit everymantheatre. org.uk or call 01242 572573. ade[email protected]plc.com
Ian Kelsey as Frank Galvin in The Verdict