Cheltenham star in new immersive Peaky Blinders show

·2 min read
Kieran Mortell on set
Kieran Mortell said playing Arthur Shelby was incredible and also challenging

By order of the Peaky Blinders the hit-TV show is going immersive with stage performances in London.

An actor from Cheltenham has taken on the role of Arthur Shelby - one of the show's most beloved characters.

Kieran Mortell said it was challenging to play the character, who suffers from PTSD and alcoholism.

During the evening the audience has the chance to interact with the cast and influence the storylines as they walk around the set.

The set in London
He said modern audiences enjoyed having a stake in the production

Mr Mortell said Arthur was a "mammoth" character to inhabit.

Peaky Blinders: The Rise is in Camden Market and follows Tommy Shelby's rise to prominence and takes you through the ups and downs of the Shelby family.

Mr Mortell said: "For me I think immersive theatre is the future of theatre - audiences want to feel like they can be involved and like they can genuinely change the outcome of the thing they're watching.

"We've made a show with three different endings, so based on what the audience give us you get to react on it."

The set in London
The set features some of the most well known locations from the show

The stage production recreates some of the iconic locations from the show, including The Garrison, the Small Heath betting shop and the bakery on Regent's Canal, HQ of the gang run by the notorious Alfie Solomon.

Mr Mortell said: "Having to think on your feet a lot is challenging but that's why it's so exciting.

"We always strive as actors to make it feel fresh every night and with this its impossible for it to not feel like that as constantly the audience are bring new challenges - they'll interrupt your scenes and you have to take that and run with it."

Tom Maller
Tom Maller said the element of the unknown kept immersive performances fresh

Creative director Tom Maller, from Nailsworth, said the themes of belonging, family, being the underdog and the unity of family, kept audiences coming back to the Peaky Blinders' world.

He added: "The excitement of the unknown keeps these immersive shows alive. There is always a surprise which is fun and stressful."

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