Former EastEnders star Charlie Clement tells us about new stage thriller The Case of The Frightened Lady.

3.The Case of the Frightened Lady_Pamela Raith Photography.jpg
Charlie Clements and  Gray O’Brien (c)Pamela Raith Photography. 

How would you describe The Case Of The Frightened Lady? It is a tense thriller that all takes place in the stately home of Lord and Lady Lebanon. The play kicks off with a lavish fancy dress party celebrating the Restoration of Charles II. But something happens, and two police officers, Tanner and Totti, who I play, arrive to investigate. People end up dead and nobody knows who’s done it. There are always people moving and there are always people listening, so it creates this constant air of suspicion. Basically everyone has a motive to be the killer.

I’ve always enjoyed thrillers and old school whodunits, so the opportunity to be in one of those was really exciting.

What’s your character, Totti, like? He is 37 and he came to the police force late as he fought in the First World War. He came back to study law then realised that actually that wasn’t the best thing for him, so he joined the police. He’s just a very good police officer. Very observant and very dedicated.

Audiences love a thriller like this one. Why do you think that is? People love trying to guess who has done it; they love sitting down, following the show and trying to work it out. And they love it at the end when they are convinced it’s one character but it’s actually someone else. The Case of The Frightened Lady is a really good thriller that will keep them guessing and on their toes. I just want people to come and see the show and enjoy it. That’s why we do it.

Are you looking forward to touring the UK? I am. It’s always nice to be away working. You get to see fantastic new places, and everywhere has got something different to offer.

Is there anything you have to take with you on tour?I’ll take my boxing gloves. I don’t actually box. I’ve never been punched in the face. But I started boxing training when I was in America and there was a boxing gym at the end of the road. I tried hitting the bags and I loved it. Ever since I’ve tried to keep it up as much as possible. It’s just so good for you. It’s great for stress too. I think everybody’s got the exercise that works for them. For me it’s boxing, so the gloves will come with me.

How do you look back on your time playing Bradley Branning in EastEnders? I look back on it very fondly. It was a great four years of my life. It taught me so much about what to do and about what not to do. It opened up doors to some things and closed doors to others. That’s just the nature of how soaps can be perceived, I think wrongly. They get a bad rep sometimes. Soaps are hard. To try and keep it fresh is really challenging.

After all the success of EastEnders you stopped working and went to drama school. Was that a tough decision to make? I’d never done it and I wanted to see how it could benefit me for other jobs, so no, it wasn’t hard. I didn’t set out to win awards and be recognised on the street. I was naïve to all that when I started. For me it has always been about the work. I just love acting. I love doing the job.

What was it that hooked you about performing? There’s something about the buzz of theatre and doing it live. That instant hit. And when people enjoy it, it’s absolute magic. I started when I was four. I went to a stage school every Saturday and just loved it. I’ve never wanted to do anything else.

The Case of the Frightened Lady will play at the New Victoria Theatre in Woking from the 3rd to the 7th April. To book tickets visit ATG Tickets

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