The Classic Thriller Theatre Company, (formally known as The Agatha Christie Theatre Company) brings a new play by the writers of classic murder mystery TV show, Murder She Wrote, to the Belgrade's stage.
This is an unusual play in that it doesn’t start with the murder. The story unfolds almost as flashbacks, these are actually part of rehearsals for a new play. In truth, the writer is using the play as a device to reveal the murderer.
All of the action takes place in a closed theatre, the set depicting a stage littered with disused props and furniture. This furniture however proves to be more than just old set dressing.
The determined writer Alex Dennison (Robert Dawes) commands the stage while going through a range of emotions.
Everyone is a suspect and everyone has a part to play in uncovering the culprit. Amy Robbins plays Monica Wells, an old movie star turned stage actress and bride to be of Alex, her role is unusual and varied as different aspects of her character are revealed.
Alongside Dawes and Robbins, other star names from TV such as Robert Duncan, Susan Penhaligon, Ben Nealon, Steve Pinder and Lucy Dixon appear in this production. With a cast such as this, strong performances are expected. Every member of the cast lives up to this expectation and portrays their character with conviction and panache.
A main feature of a murder mystery is that you, as an audience member can try to work it out before the big reveal. This production certainly keeps your mind working and changing at regular intervals. The clues are laid out in a beautifully subtle way that become obvious with the power of hindsight, but at the time can be easily missed.
This production is a gentle and enjoyable twist on the traditional murder mystery format. It will keep you intrigued and guessing to the end.
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