VIDEO: Ashurst actor stars in West End hit

Ashurst resident and star of ‘Midsomer Murders’ Daniel Casey has taken on his latest role in a critically acclaimed West End show.

Performing eight shows a week at the Apollo Theatre, Daniel is playing a key role in ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’, adapted from Mark Haddon’s best-selling novel.

JPCT 221113 S13480345x Actor. Steyning. Daniel -photo by Steve Cobb

JPCT 221113 S13480345x Actor. Steyning. Daniel -photo by Steve Cobb

“It’s a real ensemble piece,” said the 41-year-old. “The book is a view of Christopher Boone’s internal monologue, it’s a view of his world, and staging it has been a real challenge.”

Centred on Christopher, a teenager with asperger’s syndrome, the 15-year-old discovers the neighbour’s dog speared with a pitch fork one night. The story unfolds into a mystery as he tries to track down the culprit.

Daniel plays a number of characters throughout the play, but his main part is Roger Shears, Christopher’s step father.

“Christopher is aware that his father doesn’t like Roger, but he doesn’t really know why,” said Daniel.

“People with asperger’s have a highly developed sense of the logical and mathematical side of their brain and they’re fairly literal. His dad says Roger’s evil so Christopher’s frightened of the prospect.”

In a six-week boot camp, the cast rehearsed three to four hours a day, which included circuits, strength exercises and lifting techniques.

“We, the ensemble, create Christopher’s world. So we sit around the side of the stage and we’re like his brain impulses, and when he thinks of something we become that thing and act out the scenarios that he’s talking about.

“It’s an incredibly expressive and imaginary staging, with a lot of physical theatre.The rehearsals were an amazing experience, and now I’ve got great shoulders (laughs).”

Raised in Stockton-on-Tees in Durham, Daniel caught the acting bug when he joined a youth theatre at his local arts centre and won the lead part in Bugsy Malone.

Daniel was eventually introduced to a casting agent and landed a role in the highly acclaimed mini-series ‘Our Friends in the North’.

He has since gone on to play Sergeant Gavin Troy in ‘Midsomer Murders’ and a host of TV and stage appearances including Doctors, The Bill and Marchlands.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is currently playing at the Apollo Theatre in London’s West End, Shaftesbury Avenue. To book tickets call 020 7452 3000 or visit www.nationaltheatre.org.uk. Tickets start from £12.