Former EastEnders James Alexandrou (pictured) and Ray Panthaki will make their West End debuts together this summer in In My Name. The dark comedy, the first full-length play by Paines Plough writer Steven Hevey, had a sell-out season last month at the Old Red Lion Theatre in Islington, north London, and will now transfer to the West End’s Trafalgar Studios 2 for three weeks from 3 to 19 July 2008 (previews from 1 July).

It's not easy being optimistic in London, but on the day after winning the bid for the Olympics, the world suddenly felt a lot brighter. And then a bomb went off … In My Name is billed as a “visceral and terrifying” comedy about the consequences of allowing life to pass you by and how the world forces itself through your front door.

The former soap stars play Sainsbury’s work colleagues. The action kicks off when Panthaki’s character comes round to Alexandrou’s flat for a night of drinking.

Having joined the cast of EastEnders at the age of 11, James Alexandrou played Martin Fowler in the TV soap for ten years until 2007. He overlapped with Ray Panthaki, who was Ronny on EastEnders, from 2003 to 2005. Panthaki’s other credits include Tube Tales, Ali G Indahouse, 28 Days Later and Kidulthood (which he also produced) on screen, and Where Do We Live and Gladiator Games on stage.

In My Name premiered at the Old Red Lion on 26 March 2008. Alexandrou and Panthaki are joined in the cast by Kevin Watt and Adeel Akhtar. The production is designed by Georgia Lowe and presented by Yaller Skunk Theatre.

Alexandrou and Panthaki aren’t the only big ex-EastEnders hitting the London stage this summer: Jessie Wallace and Gary McDonald star in thriller Haunted, opening at the Arts Theatre on 24 May (See News, 18 Apr 2008); Nigel Harman is in the Menier Chocolate Factory revival of Simon Gray’s The Common Pursuit from 27 May (See News, 17 Apr 2008); and Letitia Dean headlines the London production of High School Musical at the Hammersmith Apollo from 1 July (See News, 15 Apr 2008).

- by Terri Paddock