YORK-BORN actor Ian Kelsey has become a tour guide to show some of his hometown’s historic sites to his American co-star in an upcoming production at the York Theater Royal.
The former Emmerdale, Casualty and Doctors actor appears in The Rise and Fall of Little Voice in theaters next month with Christina Bianco.
The show played recently in Wakefield and so, with New Yorker Christina keen to see Old York, the couple traveled to the old town so Ian could give her a tour.
Before becoming an actor and winning the role of Dave Glover on the Yorkshire soap opera Emmerdale, Ian worked at York Carriageworks and also worked as a bartender and built conservatories in the town.
Part of the couple’s tour included a visit to the Exhibition pub in Bootham, where Christina sampled ‘Yankee’ beer and Ian was ‘surprised and proud’ to discover that the conservatory he had helped to building at the back of the pub was still there and “looking grand” 30 years later.
Ian, who has been a regular on TV dramas Doctors and Casualty as well as Emmerdale, also took Christina to see the Theater Royal, the Frank Matcham-designed theater that has been entertaining audiences since 1744.
Ian has seen many shows at the theater but has never appeared there before, with Little Voice marking his debut, although he admitted to appearing in the lobby before he was an actor – dressed in caramel for a sweet promotion . His first stage experience was at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre.
The couple’s tour took them past the cathedral, where Ian recalled he often had an unusual view of the building. – a dentist’s chair as a dental office that overlooked the cathedral.
Christina was particularly delighted to visit the medieval cobbled street of the Shambles. “I’m so excited to finally get to see it. It was a dream of mine,” she said.
Her first glimpse was delayed by Ian blindfolding her, putting her in front of Medieval Street, then removing the mask to her gasps of excitement, and she vowed to return once Little Voice played York .
The tour continued with Ian challenging Christina to say out loud the name of the street which is one of the shortest streets in England with one of the most intriguing names – Whip Ma Whop Me Gate.
*The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, Jim Cartwright’s Olivier award-winning comedy-drama, is at the York Theater Royal from July 4-9. Tickets are available from the box office on 01904 623568 or by going to yorktheatreroyal.co.uk