FRANK Galvin is a washed up veteran lawyer and an alcoholic. He is presented with one last chance to redeem himself when he is given an open-and-shut medical malpractice case that no one thinks he can win.

Up against the unforgiving medical establishment, he courageously refuses an out-of-court settlement, believing it is negligence that has condemned a young mother. Smelling a cover up, he instead takes the case and the entire legal system to court.

The 1982 film of The Verdict, hailed as a masterpiece, was directed by Sidney Lumet, with a script by David Mamet, and starred Paul Newman and James Mason. It ended up being nominated for five Oscars, so any actor stepping into these sizeable shoes could be forgiven for feeling a bit daunted but that's not so according to seasoned screen and stage regular Ian Kelsey, who is taking on the role of Frank for a new adaptation heading for Theatr Clwyd this month.

"It is daunting but not for that reason," says Ian, who first rose to fame as teen heart-throb Dave Glover in Emmerdale in the mid-90s. "You can't let the big shoes thing influence you - I've done other stuff which has been done before on a massive scale like Grease, The Shawshank Redemption and Chicago where parts have been absolutely nailed by other actors like John Travolta or Tim Robbins. As a result I made a concious effort not to watch the film because even though it would be brilliant to be influenced by someone as good as Paul Newman, I wanted it to be 100 per cent Ian Kelsey's Frank Galvin."

After Emmerdale, Ian's fame grew as bad boy Patrick Spiller in Casualty and Howard Bellamy in daytime soap opera Doctors, before his six-year-long role as Detective Inspector Richard Mayne in the TV crime series Blue Murder, alongside Caroline Quentin. He also played Vinny Ashford in ITV's Coronation Street in 2016 and 2017.

"I was attracted to The Verdict because the part of Frank Galvin is huge, with a huge journey," he continues. "It is a gift as an actor to see something through that has a beginning, a middle and an end and that is so layered and interesting. When I read it and got to the end of it, I was under no doubt that I wanted to do it - it was an easy choice.

"I don't think I realised how big that journey was until I got to the rehearsal room and I started learning it. I learnt Act One in November and Act Two in December and learning all the legal stuff was like learning Mandarin! When we sat down and did the read through with everyone, I realised what a huge part it was - I had no idea what a big gig this was!"

Ian, 52, came to acting via the Rowntree Youth Theatre after his first job as an apprentice carriage builder in a British Rail workshop in his native York, but despite his grounded beginnings he admits acting can be hard work.

"When I was on Doctors that was 12-hour days," he remembers. "I was the practice manager and along with the two receptionists we got hammered by the script because everyone entered by the front door, so you always saw us.

"Aspire for great things, but don't set your bar too high at the beginning. Fill the diary and don't be too grand. Work comes from work. You never know who you will meet along the way. If you are upset about something be polite and professional. You wouldn't believe how quickly word spreads if someone has had a fit in make-up.

"Maybe three or four years after drama school I realised that there was only one of me; who looked like me and who had my sense of humour. That was my unique selling point. It changed a lot for me when I realised that I'm going to do it 'this way' because that's the way I do it. But you have to realise that you're not going to be Al Pacino or Robert De Niro straight away."

Ian was 27 when he joined Emmerdale and his character was supposed to be 19 and he later revealed that he had to lie about his age while he was a member of the cast.

"Emmerdale will always be my favourite," he says. "It was my first big gig and the crew and everyone up in Yorkshire where we filmed were so lovely. I was blessed really because it was like going to TV school and working with your mates and it was just ace. I'd been at drama school and didn't know anything because no one really teaches you how to act on TV. You have to make it up yourself and sometimes the crew would be pulling on my shirt during the take to make sure I was at my mark.

"The writing on Blue Murder was just amazing and to be in and around Manchester every day working with super people was probably my best professional gig."

Over his 30 years in acting, Ian has always had a camera to hand, whether in the wings or on set, with actor meticulously documenting his life and career with photographs.

"I've just done all the head shots for the cast," he explains. "Over the last few years if any of my mates are in a show I've been putting together a collection of behind the scenes shots.

"I've been getting full access which no other photographer would get and because I'm a fellow actor other actors have been allowing it to happen. I know when I can and can't stick my lens into someone's face!"

While the photographer is proving a pleasant sideline, it's still acting that pays the bills and Ian is relishing The Verdict's UK tour which runs through until May.

"I've rediscovered my love of acting on this job," he adds. "It's what I started doing this job for and it's relit a little spark in me."

The Verdict comes to Theatr Clwyd, in Mold for one week only, between Tuesday, March 5 to Saturday, March 9. For more information or to book tickets, call the box office on 01352 701521 or visit