Peter James’ novel Not Dead Enough is brought to the stage following successful tours of other novels, The Perfect Murder and Dead Simple.
DS Roy Grace is called to investigate a death with a sexual twist. Was it a game gone wrong or a murder? It reminds him of an unsolved case from 10 years ago, could it be the same killer? With the help of his girlfriend working in the mortuary, Cleo Morey and his colleagues Glen and Bella, Roy peels away the layers to try to solve the case.
DS Grace is played by Shane Ritchie who brings many aspects to the role as a man who is conflicted between professional experience, personal judgements and emotional ties. Laura Whitmore is professional Cleo, with a dark sense of humour but a playful and emotional side. The range of emotions both these characters go through gives the actors a chance to show their diversity and talents. Brian Bishop (Stephen Billington) is the husband of the murdered victim. His performance is multi-layered and totally convincing at all times, drawing you into the story.
The staging is impressive. With no scene changes the action flows seamlessly between the mortuary, police office and questioning room. Other locations are depicted with a clever use of lighting and haze. Having all the locations constantly on display never distracts or gets confusing.
Part of the fun of a murder mystery is trying to solve the case before the characters. This one will keep you guessing to the end. There are moments of high tension but these are balanced out with light humour in places. A thrilling and enjoyable production.
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