Former Coronation Street star Rupert Hill is hoping the stage adaptation of When Harry Met Sally will be a hit with audiences in Lichfield.
The show – which runs at the Lichfield Garrick from March 23 to 27 – is based on the Oscar award-winning film from 1989, which saw Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan star in the take if the volatile relationship of Harry and Sally, who form an unlikely friendship and drift in and out of each others lives over a decade.
And Rupert believes Lichfield will be an ideal venue for the show.
“I think the smaller gigs are going to be better for the show in some ways because it’s quite an intimate piece. It’s going to be nice going to Lichfield and playing in a slightly smaller theatre.”
Rupert reassures fans of the Hollywood blockbuster that the stage show has been adapted quite loyally to the film and it is still essentially a “very, very funny romantic comedy about two friends that become lovers”.
But he believes that the romantic comedy tag should not put men off. He explained:
“I really don’t think it’s a female thing at all. There’s only romance in it towards the end and Harry’s very much a bloke’s bloke, he’s quite chauvinistic and obnoxious at the beginning.
“I don’t think its sickly sweet, it’s quite cut throat. If men are put off by it then they really shouldn’t be because so far they seem to have enjoyed it as much as the women.”
The infamous scene when Sally fakes an orgasm is also proving to be popular with audiences, said Rupert.
And he is thankful to be starring alongside ex-Hollyoaks actress Sarah Jayne Dunn, who plays the role of Sally.
“We get along really well so the onstage chemistry we have is really, really strong.”
Rupert even has a pet-name for Sarah; ‘Spider-paws’. He explained:
“The handwriting was so poor on a letter we received from one fan that Sarah said it was a bit like a spider had crawled through the paper with ink on its paws. To which I told her spiders don’t have paws. She made a bit of a fool out of herself.”
The actor is relishing his latest comedy role after a four-year stint as Coronation Street’s Jamie Baldwin.
For Rupert, the shift to stage roles has been a welcome one. He added:
“The thing about doing stage work is every single day your forced to undergo this journey live in front of everybody and when the audience are really with you it’s second to nothing. It’s so exhilarating!”
When Harry Met Sally runs at the Lichfield Garrick from March 23 to 27. Tickets are priced from £12.50 to £22. To book visit www.lichfieldgarrick.com or call the box office on 01543 412121.