AN actor from Bradford on Avon has landed a West End role, starring alongside Hollywood pin-up Christian Slater.

Jonathan Newth, 68, of Trowbridge Road, will be appearing in Swimming With Sharks, which also stars British actress and former Cold Feet star Helen Baxendale, at the Vaudeville Theatre.

The play is a stage adaptation of the 1994 cult classic movie of the same name, which starred Kevin Spacey.

Newth only began rehearsals last week - and the show opens next Friday for a 15-week run.

He told the Wiltshire Times: "I was working with the director at The Globe and he asked if I would like to come and do this play but I had already booked a holiday.

"Luckily they let me start rehearsing two weeks in.

"Christian Slater is delightful, very charming and extremely hard-working."

Newth has had a distinguished career as an actor, including stints with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

He is also known for his television roles in Poldark, Tenko and After Henry although recently he has stuck to stage work.

He trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London and was a contemporary of Julie Christie and James Bolam.

For the past 18 years he has lived in Bradford on Avon with his social worker wife Gay and their four children, who attended St Laurence School.

Swimming With Sharks sees Slater play a fiery Hollywood movie producer who treats his assistant as a slave.

He is lured into a key deal with his assistant's high-powered producer girlfriend, played by Baxendale, leading to a bitter confrontation between the three which has devastating consequences for them all.

Newth plays Cyrus Miles, the chairman of the production company and Christian Slater's boss.

He said: "Slater adds exactly the right sort of danger the character needs.

"He really is terrific, I've seen him in films but he's done a lot of stage work including One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest which is a particularly challenging role.

"It's quite funny playing Americans and he has been very good about tolerating our wandering American dialects.

"The character I play has huge authority - I tend to get cast as authority figures which causes a lot of amusement in my family because I have no authority with them at all."

Among Slater's Hollywood blockbuster roles are parts in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Broken Arrow and Hard Rain.