Harry Reid played Phil Mitchell's son Ben in EastEnders, now he's starring on the London stage in the Agatha Christie thriller Witness for the Prosecution…
When Ben Mitchell left Albert Square in January for a new life overseas the door was left open for a return. But for now, actor Harry Reid is thrilled with his new theatre role…
What’s the story?
“I’m appearing in the Agatha Christie play Witness for the Prosecution in London,” Harry told Soaplife. “It’s a courtroom drama and we have the perfect setting as our theatre is the former Debating Chamber at London’s County Hall. It really does feel like a 1950s courtroom.”
Soaplife chats to ex-EastEnder Harry Reid about appearing on the London stage…
Soaplife: Who are you playing Harry?
Harry Reid: “ I’m playing a character called Leonard Albert Vole and he’s the person in the dock. He’s accused of murdering a rich old lady he befriended.”
S: Does it feel as if you’re on trial every night?
HR: “It really does. The surroundings are so opulent but also so stern. It’s all marble pillars and burgundy leather. I’m facing the judge with his long white curly wig for much of the proceedings, which immediately makes me feel on edge – as I would be if I really was on trial.”
S: What research did you do for the role?
HR: “I was taken to the Old Bailey to witness a real-life trial before we started rehearsals. A young guy like Leonard was in the dock and I noted his body language and his general demeanour to make Leonard seem convincing. The fact the jury is made up of members of the audience at each performance gives a realistic feel to the production, too. There’s the feeling you never quite know what’s going to happen.”
S: Have you done much theatre before?
HR: “This is actually my first professional role on stage. I’m loving it. There’s a fantastic feeling of camaraderie among the company. It’s hard work. I’m used to that, having been in EastEnders, but it’s a different kind of hard work.”
S: How do you feel about Ben Mitchell being written out of EastEnders?
HR: “I loved my time in Albert Square and I’ll always be grateful for the profile the show’s given me. But I always said I wanted to take on different roles. It’s difficult to leave the security of a soap, but Eastenders gave me the push to go and see what else was out there. For me, that’s this fantastic role in the theatre. I feel incredibly lucky to be contracted to Witness for the Prosecution until November.”
S: What do you like doing when you’re not working?
HR: “As I get used to this role, it’s all work, work, work for me. But when I feel settled into the production, I intend to get my full driver’s license. I’m also going to take some classes to work on my accents. For down-time, though, I’m really into my Play Station. Boys and their toys, eh?”