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Jessie Wallace Is Haunted by New Thriller, 23 May

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EastEndersJessie Wallace (pictured), who made her West End debut in December taking over from Denise Van Outen in the musical Rent Remixed (See News, 11 Dec 2007), will return to the stage next month to star in the world premiere of Haunted. The new thriller has a limited season from 23 May to 14 June 2008 (previews from 22 May) at the Arts Theatre, ahead of an anticipated West End transfer.

Wallace plays one of five guests at a dinner party at a chi-chi loft apartment in Southwark, south London. As the evening progresses, thing begin to unravel and a sixth character becomes apparent – the house itself. Is it haunted? And is the lift in the living room a portal to evil spirits?

Wallace is best known to TV fans as EastEnders’ Kat Slater, a role she played for five years and for which she won two National Television Awards: Most Popular Newcomer in 2001 and Most Popular Actress in 2003. Since leaving the soap opera in 2005, she’s been seen on television in A Class Apart, The Dinner Party and Miss Marie Lloyd – Queen of the Music Hall, and has just finished filming the third series of Wild at Heart.

In the cast of Haunted, Wallace is joined by Hamish Clark (Donkeys’ Years, TV’s Monarch of the Glen, Gary McDonald (Market Boy), Caroline Catz (Shopping and Fucking, TV’s Doc Martin, Murder in Suburbia) and Sue Devaney (TV’s Casualty).

The production is directed by Paul Jepson and designed by Tim Shortall. First-time producer Alon Shulman told Whatsonstage.com that Haunted is “seriously” scary, “a bit like The Shining”. The piece is penned by successful advertising executives Jon Claydon and Tim Lawler (also a former actor), marking their playwriting debuts.

- by Terri Paddock


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