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Stranger Things star Patrick Vaill praises London's 'daring' theatre audiences

Louis McCartney and Patrick Vaill in Stranger Things: The First Shadow (Charlie Gray/Netflix © 2023)
Louis McCartney and Patrick Vaill in Stranger Things: The First Shadow (Charlie Gray/Netflix © 2023)

Stranger Things star Patrick Vaill praised London theatre audiences for being as "daring" as the shows they watch as he prepares to appear in the stage version of the TV hit.

The actor, who previously appeared in the West End in the musical Oklahoma!, plays the part of the mysterious scientist Dr Martin Brenner who was played by Matthew Modine in the Netflix version.

Speaking to the Standard Theatre Podcast, the New York-born star said he loved the capital's tradition of theatregoing.

The play Stranger Things: The First Shadow has been announced by Netflix (Netflix/PA) (Netflix)
The play Stranger Things: The First Shadow has been announced by Netflix (Netflix/PA) (Netflix)

He said: "The habit of going to the theatre is very deep in the centre of the middle of the marrow of the people of this city.

"You know, like you can feel people are far more used to experimentation because they see more theatre and and that’s a cost thing.

"I mean obviously costs are astronomical here as well but not quite as bad as New York."

He said that tradition led to "really thoughtful and daring audiences", adding: "They're as daring as the artists in many ways, and you know you need a daring audience if you are going to have daring artists."

Stranger Things: The First Shadow is set more than 20 years before the TV show and looks set to reveal the origin story behind its alternate reality universe, known as the Upside Down.

Vaill said the play would mix "old fashioned stage magic” with “technology” to tell the story.

:: Stranger Things: The First Shadow opens on December 14 at the Phoenix Theatre with previews from November 17.

Listen to The Standard Theatre Podcast above, or by clicking this link.