Q&A with Corrie’s Gray O’Brien

We all remember Tony Gordon from Coronation Street. He was the Scottish sweetheart who stole our hearts, though he was an absolute total wrong’un. Actor Gray O’Brien stars in the upcoming thriller The Case Of The Frightened Lady at Leeds Grand Theatre from Monday 23th to Saturday 28th July 2018.

I got access to a snazzy little Q&A with the star to find out more about the show…

How would you describe The Case of The Frightened Lady?

It’s a brilliant thriller set at a country mansion. The police are called because there’s been a suspicious death. Rather than get in the local constabulary, they bring in the big guns from London because they want to keep it quiet. It’s a bit of a pressure cooker situation. We’re all stuck in the reception hallway of this grand house. There are lots of shenanigans going on. So you don’t know exactly what’s happening and everyone’s doing the cloak and dagger thing.

You play the detective, Tanner. What’s he like?

In the classic films of the period, the coppers were always a bit thick. We’re trying to get away from that. Tanner and his colleague Totti are smart guys. They’re educated. They’re old school coppers but with a modern attitude.

Why did you want to be in The Case Of The Frightened Lady?

I loved the script. I thought it was something exciting and new from a different writer, because we’ve seen all the Agatha Christies, haven’t we?

Why do you think people love a murder mystery?

We’ve all got an opinion. There are people who don’t want to voice their opinion on religion or politics, but we all want to get involved in stuff like this. And we’re big quizzers. We love to quiz and work things out. Audiences are going to puzzle their way through The Case of The Frightened Lady and it will keep them guessing. That’s why you go and see a thriller, isn’t it?

Are you excited about touring the UK?

What I love about touring is that you get to see absolutely fantastic places. I’m quite interested in cathedrals, so I always make a point of visiting those. And I’m a very keen cyclist, so I’ll be taking a road bike. I’ll be one of those lycra-bottomed chaps. I think it’s important to keep fit and healthy.

I’m also a big afternoon tea fan. I do like visiting tea rooms and testing their Victoria Sponge. I don’t really do Twitter very much, but I will tweet a nice afternoon tea. You’ve got to be careful of the cakes, but if you cycle 40 miles you can work off a slice of Victoria Sponge.

You’re best known as Coronation Street’s Tony Gordon. How do you look back on your time in Weatherfield?

I don’t really remember Coronation Street because the work was so solid. It was three years. I think in one year I did 196 episodes, another 197, out of the 252 that were filmed. You just don’t have any time off. It just becomes crazy. It’s wonderful at the time, but you don’t get the chance to enjoy it. The guest artists like me are brought in to facilitate the regulars. You’re never going to be there forever, but you’re extremely busy while you are. I burned out. Then you finish and no-one can touch you because you’re too associated with that job.

But I’m very grateful for the past television opportunities like Coronation Street, Peak Practice and Casualty. They allow me to be in something like this. I’ve been doing this job for 28 years now, and I’m in it for the long haul.

Fancy seeing the Gray live on stage? So do I. Visit the Leeds Grand Theatre website for all the info. 

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