TEN years on from helping put Derbyshire on the telly map as heartthrob doctor Andrew Attwood in Peak Practice, Gary Mavers is returning to the county for a very different role.
The actor will be part of an all-star cast bringing Go Back for Murder to Derby Theatre and is looking forward to returning to a part of the world that brings back fond memories.
He featured in 100 episodes of Peak Practice, a series that kept millions of viewers glued to their TV sets for nearly a decade.
Gary says: “I had six or seven years around the Derby area. I’m very fond of the place and I know my way around.
“I have always been incredibly proud of Peak Practice and what it achieved. It was a top quality programme that people from all walks of life watched. It’s unusual to get such a wide audience.”
Now Gary’s part of the Official Agatha Christie Company, alongside Liza Goddard, Sophie Ward, Robert Duncan, Lysette Anthony and Ben Nealon.
The play is a classic whodunit from the pen of an author who has only been outsold by the Bible and Shakespeare but who still doesn’t get the recognition she deserves, according to Gary.
He says: “I have always loved Agatha Christie. I don’t know if she didn’t get the recognition because she was a woman but at one time she had three plays running in the West End and four on Broadway. That’s never been equalled. But for some reason she wasn’t taken seriously, maybe because of the subject matter.
“This is one of the more palatable plays, a later work. It came from a novel called Five Little Pigs and when she adapted it for the stage she decided to leave out the Poirot character, which I think is a really good idea as it flows so much better as a result.
“You will go through every character trying to work out whodunit.”
Go Back for Murder is about Carla La Merchant, who has to live with a disturbing family secret; her mother, Caroline Crale, died in prison while serving life for killing her husband. But on finding a letter in which Caroline claims that she’s innocent, Carla becomes obsessed and is determined to clear her mother’s name.
Expect plenty of red herrings and lots of twists before all is revealed.
Gary plays Caroline’s Crale’s husband, an artist who falls in love with all his muses. He says: “I did the first Agatha Christie Company production of The Hollow seven years ago and it’s amazing how it has gathered momentum. The audiences are phenomenal and the shows have a huge following.
“Every couple of years I like to go back to the theatre and shake the dust out. Actors can become complacent. When you go back to tread the boards you can’t really shirk, you have to be on the mark.”
Go Back for Murder can be seen at Derby Theatre from October 8-12. Tickets 10.50-£25.50 on 01332 593939 or go to www.derbytheatre.co.uk.