Charlie Peace premieres in Nottingham

Alex Mugnaioni as police constable Photo: Robert Day

A new show about one of the most notorious villains of the Victorian age is to debut in the Midlands.

Charlie Peace: His amazing Life And Astounding Legend premieres at Nottingham Playhouse this evening until 19th October before moving on to the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry.

Describing itself as a 'modern musical melodrama' the show written by Nottingham writer Michael Eaton, and directed by Giles Croft asks the question why are we terrified of crime but fascinated by criminals.

Peace was a master of disguise, an accomplished musician and irresistibly attractive to women.

Actors Bridie Higson and Peter Duncan Credit: Robert Day

On the run, having murdered his lover’s husband, he holed up in the warrens of Nottingham’s Narrow Marsh before reinventing himself one final time, on the streets of Victorian London.

Actor and former Blue Peter presenter Peter Duncan who takes the lead role says: "I am looking forward to playing the anti- hero Charlie Peace, which must be one of the most intriguing parts in British theatre in 2013. I am also thrilled to be part of Nottingham Playhouse in its 50th year."

Another famous face in the show is Norman Pace, famously part of the award-winning comedy duo Hale and Pace.

Pace who was born in Dudley takes the part of the 'Showman'.

Hamish Glen, Artistic Director of Belgrade Theatre said: It’s great to be able to work with Nottingham Playhouse on this innovative new play by Michael Eaton. We’ve got a great cast of actors and with Giles at the helm I’m looking forward to seeing how they will portray the life and crimes of this Victorian villain whose story has become the stuff of legend. "

The run at Nottingham Playhouse continues until 19 October and then the show goes to The Belgrade Theatre, Coventry between 26 October and Saturday 16 November.