Stars of ITV's Heartbeat Visit Town Wall Tavern
Regulars at The Town Wall Tavern Inn fell victim to an unexpected visit from the boys in blue yesterday as the original stars of the hit ITV police drama Heartbeat dropped in on the iconic Coventry landmark ahead of the opening of a new stage show at the Belgrade Theatre.
Former Heartbeat stars David Lonsdale and Steven Blakeley were joined by Carly Cook – who plays bubbly barmaid Gina Ward in the stage production – at the popular Bond Street pub, which is famously home to the 2nd smallest bar in Britain, affectionately known as ‘The Donkey Box’.
The three actors took time out of their busy rehearsal schedule to enjoy a quick pint with locals in Coventry’s own answer to the Aidensfield Arms before taking to the stage that evening.
Heartbeat famously ran on ITV for 18 years and was a Sunday night staple for over 10 million viewers. Now for the first time the village of Aidensfield has been brought to life on stage in a new touring production running at the Belgrade until Sat 16 April.
David Lonsdale will reprise his long-standing role as the loveable David Stockwell whilst Steven Blakely will once again take up the role of PC Geoff Younger. They will be joined by Hollyoaks star, Matt Milburn as handsome copper, PC Joe Malton as part of an eight-strong cast.
Commenting on the production, David Lonsdale said: _‘Ultimately, the secret to Hearteat’s success was that it appealed to so many different types of people. Music, nostalgia, good storytelling along with plenty of humour made the show a staple of Sunday night TV viewing. Like the TV series, there are plenty of laughs in this show and David is, as usual, responsible for most of the problems. He’s still not the brightest spark in the village but he’s just as lovable as he always was!’ _
_‘As an actor, I have fond memories of Coventry. My first visit here was back in the 1980’s when I was a great friend of the Belgrade’s resident designer. I came to watch all her shows. We were both fresh out of college and I remember the city made a big impression on me. I got turned away from a club here one night too because I was wearing Jeans – I was hopping mad!’ _
With a brand new storyline, great music and a clever set design which recreates the atmosphere of 1960s rural Yorkshire settings, Heartbeat plays on the Belgrade Theatre Main Stage until Sat 16 April.