The stage adaptation of Peter James’ WISH YOU WERE DEAD featuring DSI Roy Grace gets to us at the New Theatre in Cardiff next week and we have a fantastic, and very well know cast of players heading our way.

GEORGE RAINSFORD will star as James’s famous detective DSI Roy Grace, alongside CLIVE MANTLE as Curtis. LEON STEWART will return to the role of DS Glenn Branson. The latest star to join the lead cast is Coronation Street favourite KATIE MCGLYNN.

Best known for her seven-year starring role as Sinead Tinker (for which she won a National Television Award), as well as Waterloo Road, Hollyoaks and the 2021 series of Strictly Come Dancing – will be taking over the role of Cleo Morey from Giovanna Fletcher, who finished her run in the tour at the end of April

Katie made her professional stage play debut in this World Premiere production of Wish You Were Dead, playing the role of Cleo Morey earlier this month at the Leeds Grand Theatre, and then performing at theatres across the UK until the tour concludes on 29 July at Woking’s New Victoria Theatre.

Katie McGlynn

Katie told us……

“I can’t think of a better way to make my stage play debut than with this brilliant and thrilling Peter James masterpiece and am so excited to be performing alongside such an incredibly talented cast.

I’m really looking forward to visiting theatres all over the country, witnessing the audience reaction to the many twists, turns and edge-of-your-seat moments in the show.”

The play follows DSI Roy Grace and Cleo Morey as they take a much-needed holiday together. Cleo hopes that she will finally get Grace to herself for a few days and away from his crime-solving exploits. But their dream escape turns out to be the holiday from hell, as the past comes back to haunt them.

George Rainsford has for the last nine years been playing series regular Ethan Hardy in Casualty on BBC One, for which he won the Inside Soap Award for Best Drama Star in 2017. Other Television credits include Holby City and Call the Midwife and his numerous theatre credits include productions at the National Theatre, RSC and the Old Vic.

Clive Mantle’s extensive range of credits across theatre, film and television, include an Olivier Award nominated performance in Of Mice and Men. He is perhaps best known for his TV work in shows such as Casualty, Holby City, Game of Thrones and The Vicar of Dibley and is also an award-winning children’s author.

George told us…..

“I can’t wait to be part of a theatre ensemble again and delve into Peter James’ thrilling criminal underworld. Getting to play Roy Grace, his most renowned detective creation, will be a huge honour. I am excited to meet audiences from all over the UK, and share with them some enthralling, edge-of-your-seat entertainment!”

Clive said…..

“I’m looking forward to terrifying… I mean entertaining… audiences up and down the length and breadth of Britain with ‘Wish You Were Dead’. Full of suspense and drama, there will be many funny moments too during the course of a captivating evening. There’s a clue there for starters. Roll up, roll up, all you amateur sleuths. Can’t wait to see you all.”

Following the critically acclaimed smash-hit primetime ITV series ‘Grace‘, based on the best-selling novels by the UK’s number one crime author PETER JAMES, the world stage premiere of ‘Wish You Were Dead’ is the sixth stage adaptation of his best-selling novels – making it the most successful crime thriller stage franchise since Agatha Christie.

Peter said…..

“I have always loved live theatre, so it’s been thrilling to watch how much audiences around the UK have loved the plays. Theatre and the escapism it provides us all is so important – particularly now. Inside the safe cocoon of a theatre, audiences love to be on the edge of their seats and sometimes shocked, always hoping when that final curtain falls, order will have been restored and the world will seem just a little bit of a better place.

I am incredibly grateful for the support regional theatres and their audiences have shown our plays and it will be fantastic to see another one of my books being adapted for the stage – the sixth one! – and audiences enjoying it, in 2023.

Previous Peter James novels brought to the stage include: ‘Looking Good Dead‘ which played at the New Theatre last September, starring Adam Woodyatt; ‘The House on Cold Hill’ starring Joe McFadden and Rita Simons in 2019; ‘Not Dead Enough’ starring Shane Richie/Bill Ward and Laura Whitmore in 2017; ‘The Perfect Murder’ starring Shane Richie and Jessie Wallace in 2016 and ‘Dead Simple’ starring Tina Hobley in 2015. 

Talking about the cast, Peter told us…….

“I am beyond thrilled with the wonderful star cast that we have assembled for the world stage premiere of Wish You Were Dead. I love the fact that so many people create their own image of my characters but for me, George and Clive are all inspired interpretations of how I see Roy Grace and Curtis and I am equally thrilled that Leon is returning to play Branson again.

It is going to be very exciting to work with this great group of actors and I can’t wait for them to give audiences around the country, a thrilling, fun and hugely entertaining night at the theatre.”

Peter James meets his new Roy Grace – George Rainsford

The TV series was an instant hit when it launched on ITV in 2021, with almost nine million viewers tuning in to watch the primetime drama starring John Simm as DSI Roy Grace. Series two returned, with five more thrilling episodes being the most watched programme across all channels on each of the Sundays they were broadcast. A third series has already been commissioned for next year.

Peter James list of achievements is second to none, not only is he a number one bestselling author of crime and thriller novels and the creator of the much-loved Detective Superintendent Roy Grace. He has topped the Sunday Times bestseller list 19 times and has achieved global book sales of over 21 million copies which have been translated into 37 languages.

Synonymous with plot twisting page turners, he has garnered an army of loyal fans throughout his storytelling career which also included writing for TV and producing films. He has won over 40 awards for his work, including the WHSmith Best Crime Author of All Time Award, Crime Writers’ Association Diamond Dagger and a BAFTA nomination for The Merchant of Venice starring Al Pacino and Jeremy Irons, which he also executive produced.

WISH YOU WERE DEAD is adapted by award winning writer Shaun McKenna, who worked on the five previous Peter James plays, the production will also reunite the creative team from Looking Good Dead, with Jonathan O’Boyle directing, Design by Michael Holt, Lighting Jason Taylor and Sound by Max Pappenheim.

The tour gets to the New Theatre in Cardiff from Tuesday 16th through to Saturday 20th May. Performances are at 7:30pm each evening with a 2:30pm matinee on Wednesday and Saturday.

For more details and to get your tickets, go HERE.