A TOUCH OF DANGER: Francis Durbridge.
Theatre Royal: Tkts 0115 989 5555 www.royalcentre-nottingham.co.uk.
Runs: 2h 20m: one interval: till 11th August.
Performance times: 7.30pm weekdays, 3pm and 6pm Saturday (Matinee 2.00pm Weds).
Review: Alan Geary: 7th August 2018.
Back in Durbridge country for the Thriller Season’s second play – highly enjoyable.
We’re firmly back in Francis Durbridge country for the second play of the Classic Thriller Season. Everyone has a swish West End flat (occasionally venturing out into the Home Counties) and a job connected with the classy end of the media. And, as in a lot of Durbridge, you’re not wondering whodunnit, but whodunnwot, and why.
As usual, one of the men is called Max. This particular Max (John Goodrum in a sterling performance) is beset, not only by one corpse after the other, but the continual sound of doorbells and telephones ringing. Little wonder that he’s constantly nipping down-stage left to fix himself a stiff drink. Oddly enough, all this happens after, not before, he’s reportedly been found shot dead in a car outside Munich.
This is a plot that demands one’s concentration.
The two women in Max’s life, both posh, are fetching wife, Harriet (Jacqueline Gilbride), with whom he’s going through a friendly divorce, and efficient secretary, Liz (Susan Earnshaw), who, given that she has a private income, might be more than she seems.
The other men, one bearded, one with a limp and one American (Jeremy Lloyd Thomas, Andrew Fettes and David Callister respectively), despite these glaring distinguishing features, are nevertheless all credibly well differentiated. The one feature they have in common is that each of them is mysterious, unsettling and snoopy.
By way of contrast to the prevailing poshness, we get Jeff Seago (David Martin), a working-class golf pro, and nice but common as muck Connie (Emma Vickery). The pair bring a spot of humour with them – Seago talks about a nymphomaniac he knows called “Intensive Claire”. And they feature in a neatly-staged flashback.
The whole complicated caper happens on one of Geoff Gilder’s beautifully designed and dressed interiors, as usual, one of the chief pleasures of a well-acted and enjoyable production.
Liz Ferber: Susan Earnshaw.
Harriet Telligan: Jacqueline Gilbride.
Jeff Seago: David Martin.
Max Telligan: John Gudrum.
Vincent Crane: Andrew Fettes.
Lloyd Mitchell: David Callister.
Graham Digby Jeremy Lloyd Thomas.
Connie Palmer: Emma Vickery.
Rose: Charlie Henderson Howat.
Director: Karen Henson.
Designer/Wardrobe: Geoff Gilder.
Lighting Designer: Michael Donoghue.
Sound Designer: David Gilbrook.
Wardrobe: Geoff Gilder.