‘If you never dream – then you can never have a dream come true.” This is something that Richard Shelton firmly believes in. Certainly, throughout his life, he has put this to the test. Changing career paths at 32 and following his dreams means that he has a fascinating story to tell. We sat down to have a chat about just that and Richard’s new show Sinatra: Raw.
Best known to UK TV audiences as the charmingly murderous Dr. Adam Forsythe in TV’s Emmerdale, Richard Shelton’s journey has been far from straightforward. Childhood plans to be a ballet dancer were thwarted by an overbearing father, meaning an early career in the international hotel industry.
But aged 32, he abandoned the life of corporate trimmings and set up London’s Bridewell Theatre in London. From there, roles in the UK tour of A Murder is Announced, EastEnders, Channel 5’s Family Affairs and his West End break opposite Tony Newley in Scrooge the Musical followed.
Richard’s passion for jazz meant years on the UK circuit, leading to appearances at London’s Ronnie Scott’s, BBC R4 Loose Ends and recording his album Top Cat at Abbey Road Studios with a 65-piece orchestra.
Stemming from a childhood synchronicity with Frank Sinatra and a fan of his music, he knew a lot about the icon and it was an honour when he was cast as Sinatra in Rat Pack Confidential in London’s West End. His gritty portrayal won Richard a Best Actor in a Leading Role nomination from the Manchester Evening News Theatre Awards and international acclaim.
Richard has performed for British and European Royalty, with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the BBC Concert Orchestra, for Elton John and on TV and in movies including I Capture the Castle.
Aged 50, Richard fulfilled another dream and moved to LA where he worked alongside Sinatra’s musicians and produced and starred in ‘A Very Good Year’, celebrating Sinatra’s centenary. They joined him again on recording his
Debut US album, ‘It’s Not Unusual’ at LA’s Capitol Studios.
US TV roles include ‘Jane the Virgin’ and ‘House of Lies’ and he was twice nominated ‘Best Supporting Actor’ in the horror movie, ‘Do Not Disturb’. Other recent movie roles include ‘Brash Young Turks’, the Japanese cult WW2 film, ‘Joker Game’ and ‘Palau’, shot in Argentina.
Richard’s one-man show ‘Sinatra and Me’ has played to packed houses across the world and he is thrilled to debut his new play, ‘Sinatra: RAW’ to the Edinburgh Festival.
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