Stephen’s happy for the ghost of a chance
ACTOR Stephen Beckett has temporarily left the cobbles of Coronation Street for the bright lights of the stage. He will be starring in Arnold Ridley s The Ghost Train at the Gordon Craig Theatre in Stevenage from September 26-30. Set in 1922, Stephen, 39,
ACTOR Stephen Beckett has temporarily left the cobbles of Coronation Street for the bright lights of the stage.
He will be starring in Arnold Ridley's The Ghost Train at the Gordon Craig Theatre in Stevenage from September 26-30.
Set in 1922, Stephen, 39, plays one of six characters who are stranded at a Cornish railway way station where ghostly goings-on materialise.
He said: "I play an upper-class buffoon who rubs everyone up the wrong way.
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"Nothing is what it seems throughout the play and all sorts of things are revealed."
Stephen chose the role because he has never played someone so eccentric before.
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"I have never played such a buffoon," he said. "But it's nice to do something so challenging.
"As an actor the challenge is to create a three-dimensional character.
"It's about telling a story as best you can by making it as realistic as possible."
Stephen began his acting career at the age of 23 after training at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (Rada) for three years.
He said: "I took part in all the school productions but didn't think about being a professional actor until I was 18.
I had a blinding flash and thought acting was something I would like to do."
His first acting job was playing the angel of death in Callas, a play about Maria Callas.
"It was my first, and fingers crossed, my only stinker."
Since then Stephen has appeared in a wealth of productions.
He has starred in Shakespeare productions such as Pericles at the Ludlow Festival and A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Royal National Theatre.
And has played Phileas Fogg in Around the World in 80 Days and Mr Cole in Beyond Reasonable Doubt.
But he is most well-known for his role as PC Jarvis in The Bill and his current on/off role as Dr Matt Ramsden in Coronation Street.
He said: "As an actor it's nice to do lots of roles. I'm lucky to be able to do both television and theatre and do one and then go back to the other."
The highlight of Stephen's career so far was when he worked with Alan Ayckbourn on a number of theatre productions, including Way Upstream and Private Fears in Public Places.
"He is one of these guys who's been there and done it," he said.
"He had shows running concurrently in the London's West End in the 1980s and he has a world of knowledge."
n For tickets to Stephen's forthcoming production call the Box Office on 01223 357851.
Performances begin at 7.45pm and 2.30pm on Thursdays and Saturdays.
Tickets range from £11.50-£16.50.