» Soap star Ian Kelsey takes to the stage in The Ver­dict

Gloucestershire Echo - - FRONT PAGE - By MADELAINE RICHARDS

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

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