Will 'Liam' Be a Casualty of Date-Rape Drama?; PEOPLE: Actor Adrian Lewis Morgan Believes His Latest Script Could Hit a Raw Nerve

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), October 11, 2001 | Go to article overview

Will 'Liam' Be a Casualty of Date-Rape Drama?; PEOPLE: Actor Adrian Lewis Morgan Believes His Latest Script Could Hit a Raw Nerve


Byline: ROB DRISCOLL

A few years back, when actor Adrian Lewis Morgan was successfully treading the boards of London's theatres in a string of hit musicals, half of him secretly hankered for a different kind of fame - from television.

Now he's fast achieving that in BBC1's weekly hospital drama, Holby City, which has just returned for its longest season so far.

But the former Welsh College of Music and Drama student, who was born in Beddau, might might have to brace himself for boos and hisses in the street, following the controversial storyline about his character, nurse Liam Evans.

In next week's episode, after a drunken night out, Liam ends up in his bedroom with nurse Keri McGrath (played by Morgan's fellow Welsh actor Anna Mountford) and things get out of hand - resulting in Keri later accusing him of date rape.

"It's a nightmare situation for Liam, as it comes as a complete shock to him when Keri claims that he raped her, " says 28year-old Morgan.

"As far as he is concerned, it was a mixup of opinions. He thought she was fine with everything, and he thought she was as drunk as he was, and wanted everything he wanted. That's where the shock comes from."

It's a storyline which will have reverberations over the following weeks, and in future episodes Keri McGrath's allegations bring the affair to a court hearing - with Liam's job on the line.

"What's been great has been working with Anna, " says Morgan - and thereby lies a sweetly coincidental tale.

"When I was younger, I knew the name Anna Mountford - and then I twigged. We both went to the same school, Bryncelynnog Secondary, and Anna was in the year above me!

"When I went into make-up for Holby City, I saw her photo on the wall, and then I immediately remembered."

Morgan did not find the storyline daunting, yet he obviously recognised it as a touchy subject. "When I was first told, last series, that I was going to be doing a rape story this year, I thought I was going to get sacked, " he recalls.

"I just thought you wouldn't be seeing much more of Liam after that. But the writers and producers were keen to make sure that neither character was damaged in anyway, and I hope we've achieved that.

We'll just have to wait now for the public reaction."

Although Morgan can sympathise with Nurse Evans's predicament, he knows there's no way he would ever get into a similar situation. "I'm way too sensible!"

he smiles.

"I'm not the kind to start making a move on a female, I'm too shy. I've never really chatted anyone up in my life. I'd find it strange if I was in a situation where I was forcing something upon somebody else; I don't think I could do it."

Before you get the idea that Morgan is something of a shrinking violet, he does have a girlfriend, actress Gemma Wardle, whom he met two-and-a-half-years ago in the Cameron Mackintosh touring version of Les Miserables. "Rather romantically, she played Eponine to my Marius - and she died in my arms!" laughs Morgan.

"Marius - originally played by Michael Ball - is in love with a posher girl, and Eponine is a down-and-out tyke who's obsessed with Marius. Gemma and I just gelled, our relationship just kind of happened. Gemma has even got a small part coming up in Holby City as a young pregnant woman, but unfortunately we don't share any scenes."

Although he is thoroughly enjoying his time on Holby City, Morgan confesses that he does miss the world of stage musicals, in which he used to specialise - in shows such as Rent, Jesus Christ Superstar and, of course, Les Miserables.

"I got stuck in musicals by accident really, " says Morgan - although it is hardly surprising, coming from such a strong musical background. His father, Rhydfen, is a lifelong member of the Penderys Male Voice Choir, and his mother, Barbara, has always sung and played the organ. …

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