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Thursday 14th November 2019

EastEnders' Shane Richie 'playing Margaret Thatcher in new play'

He's starring as a washed-up comic

Shane Richie tap dances as Margaret Thatcher in his new play.

The former EastEnders star is currently rehearsing for his upcoming leading stage role as washed-up comic Archie Rice in an updated version of The Entertainer.

He admitted among some moments of uncomfortable humour there is "a lot of fun to be had".

Shane spoke on The One Show about his new play (Credit: BBC)

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Speaking on BBC's The One Show, he said: "There's a lot of funny comedy, because at one bit I'm doing a tap dance dressed as Margaret Thatcher singing a Noel Coward song.

"So there is a lot of fun to be had, but some of the material and some of the things Archie talks about...

"At the end of the show it'll be interesting to see if the audience - regardless of whether they like him or not - they'll understand him.

At one bit I'm doing a tap dance dressed as Margaret Thatcher.

"That's what this play's about."

He's not sure how the audience will take to his new play (Credit: BBC)

John Osborne's classic play premiered in 1957 with Laurence Olivier memorably bringing the role to life on stage and screen.

Shane takes on the same part in an updated take on the story, which is set in 1982 during Thatcher's Britain.

Earlier this year, the 55-year-old actor was treading the boards as drag queen Loco Chanelle - the extravagant alter ego of shop owner Hugo - in Everybody's Talking About Jamie, and he had to get to grips with some speedy costume changes.

Shane's looking forward to another stage stint (Credit: BBC)

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He previously said: "The challenge for me at first, was the quick change from Hugo to Loco Chanelle.

"They're literally putting on my make-up as I'm putting on the dress, and as soon as I've got the dress on, I'm sat down and they carry on doing the makeup. The transformation takes about 18 to 19 minutes.

"But the problem, I didn't realise, is getting the makeup off. It's the glitter! But I've kind of started sussing it out now, what I need to do. Basically shower!"

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