Giovanna Fletcher - "My new play has humour, intensity and tension"

Virgin Radio

18 Feb 2023, 15:16

DSU Roy Grace just can't catch a break.

From now until July 29th, blogger, podcaster, author, actress, and presenter Giovanna Fletcher is starring in the world premiere stage adaptation of Wish You Were Dead, based on the 2021 novel by bestselling British crime writer Peter James.

Tickets are available here.

Wish You Were Dead forms part of the hugely successful Grace Series. When Detective Superintendent Roy Grace and Cleo Morey take their first holiday together, they hope for a few days away from their dark worlds of murder and the mortuary. What transpires is the holiday from hell.

"There's so much packed into the two hours," says Giovanna, who plays Cleo. "It starts off one way and then it ends in a completely other way, and in-between there's humour, intensity and tension. It's a ride!"

Giovanna says that fans of the ITV Grace series, which stars John Simm as the titular DSU, will find plenty to enjoy in the stage play. But she also says that the stage offers something different too.

"The thing I find really interesting about Peter James," she muses, "is his stories live in so many different realms. So you've got Grace on ITV, and then you've got the stage productions as well. I think it's a really good thing when someone who writes books so prolifically hands their stories over to be adapted in different ways. Some stories work best on television, and some work better on stage."

Giovanna, who also hosts the much loved Happy Mum, Happy Baby podcast, says that Mr. James takes an interest in the ways his stories are adapted, without being too hands on.

"Pete has been in a couple of times this week," she says, "and it's been really great seeing him because he's so lovely. I write books, and I think it's such a sensible thing of him to say, "This is my baby, but I understand that you know what you're doing. And I trust in you do to it." I know he thinks that of Shaun [McKenna] who has adapted it. But as an actor, it's really good to know that he's happy with what we're doing, so it's very much appreciated that he takes an interest."

George Rainsford (Casualty) plays Giovanna's onstage husband detective Roy Grace, while the rest of the cast is made up of Clive Mantle (Game of Thrones), Rebecca McKinnis, Callum Sheridan-Lee, Alex Stedman, Gemma Stroyan and Leon Stewart, who will return to the role of DS Glenn Branson.

And what of the podcast, while Giovanna is on the road?

"Well, I've banked a load," she says, "but I'm going to be recording some remotely while I'm away. We all know how things work now in terms of doing stuff remotely. The pandemic taught us that. I was so worried when we started doing episodes that way, but it works!"

It certainly does Giovanna, it certainly does.

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