THEATRE’S not the arena you expect to find Alex Reid.
Gracing the pages of Hello magazine or battling it out against man mountains in a martial arts cage are more often associated with Alex, but he’s about to tread the boards in WildBoyz – and he couldn’t be more excited about it.
When we spoke he was full of enthusiasm for the project and was more charming than he comes across on TV.
An amiable chap, he’s happy to take jokes at his expense on the chin and says the script for the show nods its head to his celebrity persona.
“I received the script this morning and I’m playing myself. I’m a trained actor and it’s hard to play myself and to get the audience laughing in the right parts, but I’m really looking forward to it,” he explained.
“I was worried the play might take the mickey a bit, but I’m game for a laugh, hopefully people will be laughing with me.”
Billed as “The Full Monty meets Ibiza”, promoters of the show says it’s perfect for a girls’ night out.
Obvious attractions include the cast which, as well as Alex, features Marcus Patrick from Hollyoaks, Danny Young from Coronation Street and Dancing on Ice and Dale Howard of Big Brother fame.
In the show, the boys are en-route to a glitzy celebrity bash for a mate’s stag do in Bali, when their flight unexpectedly hits an ash cloud and gets diverted, leaving them stranded in a cheap Spanish hotel.
When the international male strip group the “Wildboyz” booked to appear for a hen party at the hotel don’t turn up, the spotlight turns to the British beefcakes to see if they can rise to the occasion.
It promises to be a fun night of tease which lifts the lid on the world of celebrity with audience participation thrown in.
Alex says he’s been pumping iron in the gym in preparation for the role.
“I live in Brentwood (Essex) which is where Danny lives, so I’ve met him. I was on Hollyoaks about 10 years ago when Marcus was on the show, so I know him too and I’m looking forward to being one of the boys again, to have that comradeship.
“It’s good fun, but there’s a lot of competition between the boys because we’re showing a bit of flesh. Any man doing that wants to look their best.”
The role is a return to acting for Alex who studied at the Guildford School of Acting, in Surrey, and featured as Jason Cunliffe in the soap Hollyoaks, which he left in 2001.
But it was his marriage to glamour model Katie Price and his cage fighting career as The Reidinator which brought him eventual fame.
He said: “I describe myself as a cage performer. I would say I’m an entertainer not a fighter. It’s a game to me.
“Although the fighting was real and it hurts when someone hits you, it was entertainment. This is an extension of that, it’s a role.
“It’s very similar in that with cage fighting you train for months and then you go out and fight this monster in front of TV audience. With stage work, learning your lines is your training.”
The show opens later this month and will be at Newcastle City Hall on May 9.
“I love the North East,” says Alex “I’ve travelled all over the world, but I don’t get to travel around the UK as much as I’d like to.”
Though no interview with Alex is complete without probing him about his much-documented relationships, Alex seemed unexpectedly elusive about his relationship with fiance Chantelle Houghton.
But he did speak about his joy at their impending parenthood.
“Celebrities have been having babies and working for decades, so I’m sure I’ll cope. I can’t wait to be a dad.”
l WildBoyz will be at Newcastle City Hall on May 9. For tickets, Tel. 261 2606 or visit www.newcastlecityhall.org.