In Coronation Street he played John Stape, the kidnapping, identity-stealing, baby-snatching, body-burning murderer. So to be cast as the Devil in the York Mystery Plays must come as light relief to actor Graeme Hawley.
Graeme, 37, was nominated for Villain of the Year in the 2009 and 2011 British Soap Awards for his role as John Stape.
Graeme, who has also appeared in Shameless, A Touch of Frost and played PC Martin Crowe in Emmerdale, said he was thrilled to be taking on the role in the biggest outdoor theatre production in the UK this year.
[column width=”60%” padding=”10%”]Graeme will star opposite Ferdinand Kinglsey, 24, who was announced last week as playing both God and Jesus in the plays.
Both will start rehearsing with the rest of the 500 strong cast next month.[/column][column width=”30%” padding=”0″]Scroll down for Graeme’s Corrie rooftop exit, and his full soap history…[end_columns]
Damian Cruden and Paul Burbridge, joint artistic directors of the Mystery Plays, declared themselves delighted with their Devil.
“Graeme is a popular TV face and is of course well known by audiences of Coronation Street as villain John Stape. He also has a fine theatrical acting CV, he’s northern, he has the perfect balance of experience and we’re very happy that he’s chosen to work with us over the summer,” they said.
As John Stape Graeme was the star of a series of ever-more bonkers storylines, involving kidnap, manslaughter and murder. His character died in October 2011 after he crashed into the back of a lorry during a car chase. As you do.
On stage he has performed in Rock n Roll, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and Measure for Measure at the Manchester Library Theatre. Most recently, he played the role of Jack in Saturday Night and Sunday Morning and Paul in Love and Money, both for Manchester Royal Exchange Theatre.
A busy few years: what Graeme did as John Stape in Corrie
2007: John was first seen at a school play rehearsal where Kevin Webster revealed his daughter Sophie’s crush on him and he encountered his former girlfriend Fiz Brown.
Resumes his relationship with Fiz Brown
Gives Sally Webster private lessons in English Literature
Begins a torrid affair with Sally’s daughter Rosie
Is attacked by Kevin Webster when his affair with Rosie is revealed
2008: Takes a job as a driver at Street Cars in order to be near Fiz
Is forgiven by Fiz but ostracised by her friends
Kidnaps Rosie and locks her in the attic of his grandmother’s house for five weeks
Is arrested when Fiz calls at the house and finds Rosie
2009: Sentenced to two years in prison
Thrilled when Fiz visits him in prison for advice on Chesney’s home schooling
Gives Rosie £150,000 of his inheritance from his grandmother as compensation
Marries Fiz in prison
2010: Gets out of prison
Works at an adult education centre but gets fired when they find out about his jail-bird past
Steals his friend, Colin’s identity, so he can get back into teaching. Fiz finds out but goes along with it
Caught using Colin’s identity by Charlotte Hoyle, a fellow teacher, who uses the information to emotionally blackmail him. Colin is attacked and seeks out John for compensation over the stolen identity, but suffers a fatal heart attack. John and Charlotte hide the body and burn his belongings. Continues to visit Charlotte secretly, but becomes worried by her mental state, especially when she introduces him as Colin to her parents
Meets Colin’s mother Joy Fishwick, who comes looking for her son
Fatally attacks Charlotte on the night of the tram crash and pretends to have found her body in the wreckage as police find him moving her body. On the same night, Fiz goes into labour and their child Hope is born prematurely
2011: Continues to worry for baby Hope when it is revealed she has a hole in her heart but it can be treated with medication. Joy Fishwick dies after John confesses all to her
John suffers a breakdown following all his secret and murderous actions and is hospitalised
Returns home to Fiz and baby Hope and tries to put his sins in the past
When Chesney unearths the truth about John’s link to the Hoyle’s, John takes all three of them hostage in the Hoyle’s cellar
Makes a partial confession to Fiz when she discovers him trying to move the body of Colin Fishwick from under the factory floor
Flees with baby Hope when Fiz refuses to run away with him; Fiz is run over whilst pursuing them
Returns Hope to a desperate Fiz before jumping off the hospital roof and disappearing into the night
Returns to Weatherfield with a plan to save Fiz from prison
Kidnaps Rosie and forces her to learn his account of what happened so she can go to court and clear Fiz’s name. Jason and Kevin come to Rosie’s rescue although John escapes, he crashes into a lorry and is taken to hospital. Before he dies he is finally reunited with his wife and daughter and makes a police statement which proves that Fiz was innocent