Hollyoaks and Emmerdale actor James Sutton is playing Charles Granillo in Patrick Hamilton’s chilling thriller Rope. With rehearsals now underway, he shares what attracted him to this production and how it feels to be swapping TV for the stage.
1) What first attracted you to Patrick Hamilton’s play, Rope?
‘I remember watching Hitchcock’s film version years ago and thinking it was brilliant, really tense and atmospheric, it really stayed with me. So when the opportunity to be part of a new production came about, I didn’t take much convincing.’
2) You’re playing Charles Granillo. Tell us more about this character.
‘He’s quite highly strung and has a lot of reservations about the murder they’ve committed. He’s been seduced by Brandon and throughout the play is struggling to keep himself together. He’s also very handsome.’
3) What are you most looking forward to about working on this show?
‘Its been a long time since I’ve been involved in a proper rehearsal period, so I’d have to say that.’
4) You worked with Director Douglas Rintoul whilst at drama school. Tell me a bit more about the production you worked on together.
‘Douglas directed my first show at Drama school, As You Like It and it was one of the most important plays for me personally. I was a bag of insecurities and nerves throughout my training and to be thrown in at the deep end so early in my third year, tackling Shakespeare, and playing a romantic lead, gave me my confidence back at a time when I felt very unsure of myself as a performer. It was also an awful lot of fun and Douglas was brilliant with us.’
5) Who are your influences in the theatre world?
I’ve always been a huge fan of Shakespeare. I played smaller roles in open air productions when I was a teenager and I used to watch in awe. The professionals delivering the words with such grace and ease, it blew my mind. I also love new writing. There’s a lot of new playwrights and writers coming out of Liverpool, where I live, and the importance of some of that work and those new voices being heard, is huge.
6) You’ve had an extensive career in TV with many people knowing you from Hollyoaks and Emmerdale . Are you looking to pursue more theatre roles in the future?
‘I am. It’s where I started and it feels like home being on stage. I’ve been very lucky to have worked on some wonderful dramas and TV shows, but nothing beats a live audience.’
Rope runs at the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch from 15 February – 3 March. For more information and tickets call the Box Office on 01708 443333 or click here.