Playing a station master is second nature to actor Jeffrey Holland.
His role as Cecil Parkin in the Nineties television sitcom Oh! Dr Beeching has equipped him for his latest characterisation in a comedy thriller.
Jeffrey plays Saul Hodgkin in Arnold Ridley’s classic thriller The Ghost Train which is steaming towards Buxton on its tour of the country.
“I am very much looking forward to appearing in The Ghost Train again,” said Jeffrey. “I played Teddie nearly 13 years ago. I am delighted to be playing Saul, a part Arnold Ridley played himself.”
The spooky play focuses on a group of travellers (including newly-weds, an estranged couple, a self-indulgent young dandy and an elderly spinster with a parrot) stranded in the waiting room of a railway station on a stormy night. They react with various degrees of belief to the station master’s warning of death to anyone who sets eyes on the ghost train which haunts the line.
Aboard the cast of The Ghost Train is Judy Buxton, who plays the spinster Miss Bourne. She is Jeffrey’s wife in real life. “We are very excited to be working together,” he said.
The play, which runs at Buxton Opera House from February 5 to 7, is presented by Talking Scarlet. Jeffrey said: “I’m very pleased to be working with Talking Scarlet who my wife worked with last year. They have a fresh approach which is exciting.”
Jeffrey is probably best known for his portrayal of holiday camp comic Spike in BBC TV’s Hi-De-Hi . He also played the stuffy footman James Twelvetrees in the hugely successful sitcom You Rang M’Lord.
Born in the West Midlands, he trained in Birmingham and began his career with four years in repertory at the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, where he finished up as the leading man.
His theatre work includes seasons at the Chichester Festival and the Edinburgh Festival. He also appeared in the stage production of Dad’s Army in which he took over as the spiv, Private Walker.
Performances of The Ghost Train at Buxton Opera House start at 7.30pm with a Saturday matinee at 2.30pm. Tickets £16, £19. Contact 01298 72190 or www.buxtonoperahouse.org.uk