Skip to main content

Claire Goose - The Perfect Murder

Claire Goose is used to playing strong but vulnerable women. Up until now, most of these have been on the small screen, be it in the Edinburgh-born actress's breakout role as Nurse Tina Seabrook in Casualty for three years between 1997 and 2000, or her forthcoming role as a woman who witnessed the murder of her mother aged seven in forthcoming mini-series, Undeniable.

This week, however, audiences will get to see Goose in the flesh when she stars alongside Les Dennis in the stage adaptation of Peter James' crime thriller novel, The Perfect Murder, which opens at the King's Theatre in Glasgow tomorrow night. In the play, which forms one of James' best-selling Roy Grace series of stories, Goose plays the appositely named Joan Smiley, who has probably been married to her husband Victor just that little bit too long. As both parties decree to get rid of their other half forever, the feeling is clearly mutual.

“He's so disappointed in her,” says Goose. “He goes to work, and is very set in his ways. He's older than her, so she's lost all of her friends, and she's so frustrated, because she's ended up being trapped in a loveless marriage. He starts an affair with a young prostitute, and their relationship develops beyond sex, and they become quite close. Victor and Joan have reached a point where they never seem to laugh anymore, and it's as if he was waiting for a sign.”

Despite such a messy domestic scenario, Goose remains sympathetic towards both partners, whatever crimes result from the acrimony.

“You can understand why they feel the way they do,” she says. “Joan isn't really that bad, and what's lovely about the play is that you have to love both Joan and Victor.”

Given that James' series of Roy Grace novels have sold more than fourteen million copies worldwide since the first one appeared a decade ago, Shaun McKenna's adaptation of The Perfect Murder looks set to be equally popular.

“They thought it might be quite interesting to bring in a younger Roy Grace,” Goose reveals, “so audiences who know the books can see how he might have been during the early part of his career, and what you end up with is something that's quite dark, but is also quite funny as well.”

The Perfect Murder marks Goose's first time on-stage for nine years. During that time, she spent several years on long-running police investigation series Waking The Dead, and another two on even longer running cop show, The Bill. More recently, Goose appeared in comedy drama, Mount Pleasant. For someone who has spent so much time on-screen, then, an undertaking such as The Perfect Murder is quite a leap.

“It's a massive thing for me,” Goose admits. “I haven't done theatre for years, and I've never toured, and this is a huge part. I'm on-stage pretty much throughout the entire play, so it's a massive challenge, just vocally, and because I've done so much telly, where you can do take after take and are constantly trying to perfect the one scene, it's different. You can't stop and do it again if it's not quite right, so not every scene is going to be perfect. It's just not possible.”

While McKenna's stage version of The Perfect Murder comes with an existing fan-base, Goose too has a track record that may give audiences certain ideas about what to expect from the play's leading lady.

“You can get stuck in playing such similar parts,” Goose observes, “but Joan is probably the least vulnerable character I've played. She's quite down-trodden, but she's also quite ballsy. So even though she's fragile there's an inner strength. She's like a dog with a bone who, once she grabs hold of something, she won't let go.”

With such a back catalogue of ballsy women in her repertoire, then, how much do they resemble Goose?

“I can be quite an emotional person,” she admits. “I find it quite easy to tap into my emotions. It's even easier since having kids. If anything awful about kids comes on telly, I just cry. But there's a determination in me as well. There has to be to do this job. You get more noes than yeses, and you have to take it on the chin. So I suppose there are elements of me in these characters that I play, which is probably why I enjoy playing them, because you can take them further.”

The Perfect Murder, King's Theatre, Glasgow, March 18-22.

The Herald, March 17th 2014


ends

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Losing Touch With My Mind - Psychedelia in Britain 1986-1990

DISC 1 1. THE STONE ROSES   -  Don’t Stop 2. SPACEMEN 3   -  Losing Touch With My Mind (Demo) 3. THE MODERN ART   -  Mind Train 4. 14 ICED BEARS   -  Mother Sleep 5. RED CHAIR FADEAWAY  -  Myra 6. BIFF BANG POW!   -  Five Minutes In The Life Of Greenwood Goulding 7. THE STAIRS  -  I Remember A Day 8. THE PRISONERS  -  In From The Cold 9. THE TELESCOPES   -  Everso 10. THE SEERS   -  Psych Out 11. MAGIC MUSHROOM BAND  -  You Can Be My L-S-D 12. THE HONEY SMUGGLERS  - Smokey Ice-Cream 13. THE MOONFLOWERS  -  We Dig Your Earth 14. THE SUGAR BATTLE   -  Colliding Minds 15. GOL GAPPAS   -  Albert Parker 16. PAUL ROLAND  -  In The Opium Den 17. THE THANES  -  Days Go Slowly By 18. THEE HYPNOTICS   -  Justice In Freedom (12" Version) 1. THE STONE ROSES    Don’t Stop ( Silvertone   ORE   1989) The trip didn’t quite start here for what sounds like Waterfall played backwards on The Stone Roses’ era-defining eponymous debut album, but it sounds

Big Gold Dreams – A Story of Scottish Independent Music 1977-1989

Disc 1 1. THE REZILLOS (My Baby Does) Good Sculptures (12/77)  2. THE EXILE Hooked On You (8/77) 3. DRIVE Jerkin’ (8/77) 4. VALVES Robot Love (9/77) 5. P.V.C. 2 Put You In The Picture (10/77) 6. JOHNNY & THE SELF ABUSERS Dead Vandals (11/77) 7. BEE BEE CEE You Gotta Know Girl (11/77) 8. SUBS Gimme Your Heart (2/78) 9. SKIDS Reasons (No Bad NB 1, 4/78) 10. FINGERPRINTZ Dancing With Myself (1/79)  11. THE ZIPS Take Me Down (4/79) 12. ANOTHER PRETTY FACE All The Boys Love Carrie (5/79)  13. VISITORS Electric Heat (5/79) 14. JOLT See Saw (6/79) 15. SIMPLE MINDS Chelsea Girl (6/79) 16. SHAKE Culture Shock (7/79) 17. HEADBOYS The Shape Of Things To Come (7/79) 18. FIRE EXIT Time Wall (8/79) 19. FREEZE Paranoia (9/79) 20. FAKES Sylvia Clarke (9/79) 21. TPI She’s Too Clever For Me (10/79) 22. FUN 4 Singing In The Showers (11/79) 23. FLOWERS Confessions (12/79) 24. TV21 Playing With Fire (4/80) 25. ALEX FERGUSSON Stay With Me Tonight (1980) 1. THE REZILL

Edinburgh Rocks – The Capital's Music Scene in the 1950s and Early 1960s

Edinburgh has always been a vintage city. Yet, for youngsters growing up in the shadow of World War Two as well as a pervading air of tight-lipped Calvinism, they were dreich times indeed. The founding of the Edinburgh International Festival in 1947 and the subsequent Fringe it spawned may have livened up the city for a couple of weeks in August as long as you were fans of theatre, opera and classical music, but the pubs still shut early, and on Sundays weren't open at all. But Edinburgh too has always had a flipside beyond such official channels, and, in a twitch-hipped expression of the sort of cultural duality Robert Louis Stevenson recognised in his novel, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, a vibrant dance-hall scene grew up across the city. Audiences flocked to emporiums such as the Cavendish in Tollcross, the Eldorado in Leith, The Plaza in Morningside and, most glamorous of all due to its revolving stage, the Palais in Fountainbridge. Here the likes of Joe Loss and Ted Heath broug