Steven returns to Heartbeat

Steven Blakeley
Steven Blakeley

They say that curiosity killed the cat, but it was what first drew Steven Blakeley back to reprise his most famous role in Heartbeat.

Famous for playing PC Geoff Younger, the theatrical version of Heartbeat comes to Royal & Derngate from Monday, May 9, to Saturday, May 14.

Steven said: “It was curiosity that initially drew me to it. It was about seven years since we finished filming the show and wanting to know how the character got on.

“I read the script and it has got a very strong story. Both the crime one and also the comedy sub plot, which Heartbeat was known for.”

And he is enjoying bringing his character to life in front of a live audience.

Steven added: “The major difference is the technical aspect, he is still the same character but whereas when we were filming the television series, you have one audience member, the camera lens.

“In a theatre, you are playing to up to 1,000 people and you have to make sure everyone at the back can see you so you have to do different things with your voice and your body movement.

“That is especially good when you are doing the comedy part because you have that immediacy from the audience.

“The tour has been going really well so far.

“There are a lot of die hard Heartbeat fans because the show is on every day on ITV3 and the amount of people who say they will watch it every single day is lovely to hear.”

He also was full of praise for the Royal & Derngate having performed in Diary of a Nobody two years ago.

Steven said: “The show was very successful and it is a fantastic venue.

“I like that there is a traditional theatre in the Royal and a massive stage like the Derngate.

“There is a great support from the public of Northampton for the theatre and I hope they will be similarly supportive when we bring Heartbeat to Northampton.”

And while it is a part he is happy to return to, it perhaps didn’t initially promise the longevity it has since achieved.

Steven added: “I auditioned, and there were a lot of auditions. Initially I was told that it would be for six episodes and more than 100 later I was still there.

“But I suspect given that he was a policeman who had a lot of quirks and idiosyncrasies, he could do both the serious crime aspect of the show and also the comedy elements as well and there were not that many characters who could do both on the show, so he was very useful for the writers.”

Tickets for the show can be booked by calling the box office on 01604 624811 or visit www.royalandderngate.co.uk.