All-Star Promise Laughs Ahoy In Ship-Shape Comedy

Popular actor and Celebrity Masterchef winner John Partridge is swapping the saucepan for the stage as he heads the cast of the revival of a hit comedy heading to Norwich Theatre Royal.

He plays the world-renowned playwright Sandor Turai in Rough Crossing which comes to the city on March 25-30. The show sees Turai and fellow writer Alex Gal frantically trying to rehearse their latest play on board an ocean liner which is heading for New York and opening night.

Add in an unorthodox waiter, a delicate composer with a complicated love-life and a mistimed lifeboat drill, and the stage is set for lots of laughs in the play penned by Tom Stoppard.


John, who boasts a distinguished stage career as well as many TV appearances including playing Christian Clarke in EastEnders, loves bringing Turai to life. He said: “It’s a huge role for me and a great character. He is flamboyant, serious, aggressive and kind. He’s a lot of things. I go from Oscar Wilde to Jack Nicholson in the space of five seconds. I also get to be physical. I get to dance a bit and sing a bit. It’s like all my dreams have come true.”

Joining John in the cast are a host of star names. They include the Olivier Award-wining nominee Charlie Stemp who is widely regarded as one of the West End’s shining stars thanks to roles including Hello Dolly! opposite Bette Midler on Broadway, the UK smash Half A Sixpence, and his forthcoming role of Bert in the West End revival of Mary Poppins.

Also starring in Rough Crossing is another West End star Issy Van Randwyck who has performed with Fascinating Aida as well as productions for the National Theatre and Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. Returning to Norwich in the show is Matthew Cottle who last appeared in How The Other Half Loves and boasts a number of TV credits including Game On and The Windsors.

Rough Crossing also stars Rob Ostlere whose previous credits include Sweet Bird Of Youth for Chichester Festival Theatre, A Woman Killed With Kindness for the National Theatre, and TV roles in Holby City and Game Of Thrones, and Simon Dutton who boasts many stage, TV and film appearances including Simon Templar in the revival of The Saint.

For the cast, it is also a great chance to perform work by the legendary playwright Tom Stoppard. John Partridge said: “It feels exciting and it feels fresh. It’s a great honour for us to have this opportunity to take this rarely performed piece around the UK.”