Shane Richie joins cast of The Entertainer

Shane Richie joins cast of The Entertainer

‘EastEnders’ star Shane Richie is to join forces with the soap’s former executive producer Sean O’Connor in a new play.
The 55-year-old actor has joined the cast of John Osborne’s ‘The Entertainer’, which will be directed by Sean, who worked on the soap from June 2016 to June 2017.
Shane – who will play washed-up entertainer Archie Rice in the production – said: "Following in the black patent shoes of Olivier, Gambon, Lindsay and Branagh, it’s an incredible honour to be asked to play one of literature’s greatest fictional characters, Archie Rice.
"In the words of the great man himself, ‘You’re a long time dead, let’s just whoop it up.’ "
The play is set in 1982 and tells the story of Archie’s soldier son heading off to the Falklands, while his daughter Jean has been campaigning against the war.
Sean told Stage Review: "Osborne’s story has never seemed more relevant or more timely.
"Against the backdrop of the Falklands War, the satirical new world of alternative comedy has dismissed Archie’s style of humour and his sort of act as old-fashioned and even offensive.
"The mother-in-law joke has been outlawed and a generation of entertainers like Archie have suddenly found themselves irrelevant.
"At the same time, in the wake of recent abuse scandals, a certain cultural attitude – and a certain sort of man – has been exposed as outmoded and redundant; this is an Entertainer for 2019."
Shane has played Alfie in ‘EastEnders’ on and off from 2002. He recently reprised the role in November but hasn’t been seen in Albert Square since January.