Award-winning actor Tom Conti has spoken of his excitement about playing the lead role in courtroom thriller Rough Justice at Richmond Theatre next week.

Conti’s character is a television journalist charged with murder in the psychological thriller.

He says: “It’s a very unusual murder. It was committed by a very well known TV journalist, somebody who would present something like Panorama, a very high profile case.

“It’s also a kind of critique of the law and asks the question what is the distinction between what is the law and what is fair.

“The law isn’t interested in what is fair, it’s only interested in its own guidelines and that sometimes leads down a very rocky road and sometimes to disaster for the defendants.”

Conti, who cinema-goers will see on the big screen as a prisoner in the hit Batman film the Dark Knight Rises, visited the Old Bailey as part of his research into murder cases and the law.

He has performed at Richmond Theatre many times and is looking forward to returning to the borough where he lived briefly while a young actor looking for work in London.

He says: “I’ve performed at Richmond Theatre many, many times. It’s always nice to come to beautiful theatres and people always turn out to Richmond, which is nice.

“The audience is pretty much the same as a West End audience because it’s only up the road. It’s always a good indication of how things might go in London.

“I think the audience can expect a very good night, it’s very tense.

“It is also witty. Any writer knows that in any decent drama you’ve got to have wit. It’s a big emotional role, a rollercoaster really.”

Conti was recently voted the most popular actor in the West End in the last 25 years, alongside Dame Judy Dench.

Rough Justice, Richmond Theatre, Monday, September 3, to Saturday, September 8. Tickets £15 to £29.50, premium seats £35. Call the box office on 0844 8717651.