Actor Harry Reid will swap the East End for the West End to take on the starring role in the Agatha Christie classic Witness for the Prosecution.
Reid – whose EastEnders character Ben Mitchell left earlier this year – is to take over the part of Leonard Vole, who stands accused of murdering a widow in order to inherit her wealth in a production of the legal thriller currently being staged in a courtroom setting at London’s County Hall.
The 25-year-old said to RadioTimes.com today: “Once I knew that I was leaving EastEnders, I told my agent that theatre was something I really wanted to get involved with. I’m so excited to get started – it’s a brilliantly designed production and really immersive theatre.
“Leonard has a real innocence about him – he’s very easily led by people, but really lovable too. It’s a very interesting part to play and the story keeps you guessing until the end.”
Reid will begin his stint as Leonard on Tuesday 27 March and will continue in the part until mid November.
The actor’s final EastEnders scenes were shown in January, with Ben heading off to Calais to begin a new life with an envelope full of stolen cash in his pocket.
Reflecting on his exit, Reid said: “I never wanted to go into my acting career and play just one character. But I thank EastEnders for leaving Ben alive, which was very important for me. Because I’d love to return and bring him back to the Square.
“At the moment, though, I’m just looking ahead positively to my career. For me, the last couple of months have been a rejuvenation process.”
As to whether he’s still keeping up with events in Albert Square, he added: “No, but I didn’t watch it before I went into it. I’d watched it at school, but then stopped watching it. However, while I was in it, I did view episodes because I wanted to critique my performance.
“But don’t get me wrong – I’m in contact with a few of the EastEnders guys. Jamie Borthwick and Steve McFadden as well as some of the youngsters. So I’ll still catch up with their stuff.
“And I did want to find out what happened to that stolen money because I’m very confused. How did Sharon manage to snatch that cash off Ben? I don’t have a clue!”
Witness for the Prosecution is currently booking at London County Hall until 16 September (www.witnesscountyhall.com)