Two of television’s most loved medics – Ian Kelsey and Patrick Robinson - are taking a break from the wards to tread the boards in a new stage production inspired by the classic film The Shawshank Redemption, coming to His Majesty’s Theatre in Aberdeen this October.
They will take the leading roles of Andy Dufresne and Red made famous by Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman in the famed 1994 feature film which was nominated for seven Academy Awards.
Based on the 1982 Steven King novella Rita Hayworth and The Shawshank Redemption, the play examines desperation, injustice, friendship and hope behind the claustrophobic bars of a maximum security facility.
Taking on the role of Andy, Ian Kelsey recently announced the end of his role as Howard Bellamy in TV’s Doctors. His extraordinary TV career has hardly seen him off the small screen in two decades with leading roles in Casualty, Emmerdale, Down To Earth and Where the Heart Is.
Patrick Robinson’s impressive TV career also spans two decades and includes eight years as Ash in BBC’s Casualty, as well as roles in Midsomer Murders. In 2013, he won new fans with his footwork in Strictly Come Dancing, where he got to the semi-finals. His stage work has seen him play leading roles with the RSC and in London’s West End.
Explaining how he got involved in the production, Ian said: “I was two days off set from Doctors when the phone call came in - I couldn’t believe it.
“I finished at 12 o’clock on the Tuesday night and I thought I would have the summer off, easily have two months off. Then the call came in on the Thursday and I couldn’t say no to Andy and the Shawshank.”
“Likewise, as Ian said, when they said we’d love you to play Red, I was like, yes, I would love to do that, how could I say no!” added Patrick. “I’m a big fan of the film. I think it’s in most people’s top 10 films of all time.”
In the play, despite protests of his innocence, Andy Dufresne is handed a double life sentence for the brutal murder of his wife and her lover.
Incarcerated at the notorious Shawshank facility, he quickly learns that no one can survive alone and after striking up an unlikely friendship with the prison fixer Red, things take a slight turn for the better.
However, when Warden Stammas decides to bully Andy into subservience and exploit his talents for accountancy, a desperate plan is quietly hatched.
The Shawshank Redemption will be staged at HMT from Monday to Saturday, October 12 to 17, and tickets are available online at www.aberdeenperformingarts.com, by phone at 01224 641122 and at Aberdeen Box Office at the Music Hall and His Majesty’s Theatre.