Highbury Players brings elegance and sophistication with this J.B.Priestley play set in the 1930s.
This dark play of secrets and lies starts with a slow steady pace, building the dramatic tension throughout. Intrigue is heightened with lots of twists and turns, and an even bigger final twist.
The play starts with four women sat in a drawing room. They've been listening to the radio after dinner, one is a novelist, Maud Mockridge, and there's two director’s wives, Freda and Betty, plus close friend, Olwen. They begin talking about the suicide of Freda's brother-in-law Martin Caplan who worked at the firm. After being interrupted by their husbands, Robert and Gordon, and fellow work colleague, Charles, they all begin discussing whether it's always best to be fully truthful.
Then one event, a chance remark, starts a cascade of revelations that slowly helps the audience piece the circumstances together; unpick the situation for what it is and see the characters for who they really are. This includes the circumstances of Martin's death and the mystery of a theft of £500.
This strong cast gave a skilled performance, holding their characters secrets close to home, whilst being intrigued to uncover each other's. Their individual performances were well-crafted, in-keeping with the setting of the play.
The costumes were immaculate and fitting for the era and the set design was also impressive and detailed. The lighting was particularly effective as it was altered to adjust the atmosphere of the story. Two scenes that worked particularly well included the flashback scene with the voiceover and the looped events at the end.
Whilst finding out some answers, this play also raises many more questions in a continuous manner, which kept the audience both interested and intrigued throughout.
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