Heartbeat stud Joe McFadden hopes to terrify audiences at The Churchill Theatre, Bromley (From News Shopper)
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Heartbeat stud Joe McFadden hopes to terrify audiences at The Churchill Theatre, Bromley
A versatile actor, used to making hearts throb, is now taking great pleasure in making them stop in his petrifying new play.
Former Heartbeat star Joe McFadden is set to tread the eerier-than-ever boards at The Churchill Theatre in thriller Haunting Julia between September 17 and September 22.
The chilling piece, written by Alan Ayckbourn, follows musical prodigy Julia’s mysterious death in a pool of blood up in a dingy attic.
Twelve years after her demise, her father (played by Duncan Preston from Acorn Antiques) teams up with ex boyfriend Andy (McFadden) to find out exactly what happened to her that fateful night.
Joe told News Shopper: “I think if you get it right, you can be really spooky in the theatre.
“The audience can’t press pause like they can on the couch.
“That’s absolutely what we hope to do – freak people out.
“There are a couple of really big shock moments.
“You can feel the audience have been ratcheted up and then they get a big fright and end up howling with laughter because they’ve been so scared moments before.
“To get such a reaction from an audience and physical terrify them is great – it feels really powerful.”
Both Andy and Julia’s father Joe have become obsessed by what happened to her, and wonder if she took her own life or died at the hands of a murderer.
Strange sounds and signs have begun to haunt the shrine her father built to his lost daughter.
And the answers are all about to be revealed.
Joe, who started touring at the end of August, added: “It’s disconcerting how quiet the audience become.
“It’s a real testament to the writing, how involved they are.
“I think it’s great to be able to create such a dark, scary atmosphere.”
The Heartbeat pinup is well practiced in television work, as well as appearing on stage.
But this will be his first UK theatre tour.
He continued: “Acting in the theatre is scary, things can go wrong and you can forget your lines.
“It’s not for the faint hearted but it’s good for you to flex those acting muscles.
“You do your best work when you’re afraid.”
Since becoming involved with the play, Joe has also started to question whether ghosts really exist.
He told us: “I’m not counting it out – too many people have seen stuff for there to be nothing in it.
“I’ve never seen anything myself but a curious part of me wants to know.
“The thing is I would just probably be really scared.
“We were staying in a haunted hotel and I kept waking up and freaking myself out.
“Part of me really doesn’t want to see anything.”
The Scottish actor is looking forward to seeing some familiar faces in the audience at The Churchill.
He said: “I’ve got old pals from Orpington coming to see me – that’s the great thing about touring.
“This is a bit of a dream come true.”
Tickets cost between £10 and £25.
For bookings call 08448 717 620 or visit atgtickets.com/bromley