by Mary Elliot Nelson.
Theatre Royal Royal Centre Theatre Square NG1 5ND To 3 August 2013.
Runs: 1h 55min One interval.
TICKETS: 0115 989 5555.
Review: Alan Geary: 29 July 2013.
Somewhat derivative, but an entertaining thriller nonetheless.
The Colin McIntyre Classic Thriller Season’s back in Nottingham with Murder Live, the first of four this year.
This isn’t a Durbridge: it’s not set in London or the Home Counties but Cornwall. We’re in the red-themed drawing room of Tressilick House, which, naturally enough, stands on an off-shore island. To compound the problem, there’s no phone or internet communication either.
In fact the play’s an unembarrassed homage to Agatha Christie. After the break someone actually says “And then there was one”.
A clutch of broad eccentrics: a representative sample of contemporary English types without the ethnic minorities, plus Kirsty, the sensibly balanced straight woman (Sarah Wynne Kordas), have been hired by some faceless TV people to take part in a reality show – oddly though, each for a different-sounding show.
Karen Henson is Caitlin, the leggily clapped-out common one, with dresses short to the point of non-existence. She’s OTT of course; but, along with a wandering Lancs/Merseyside accent, Henson gives us an arresting moment of poignancy as she surveys the wreckage of herself in front of the fourth wall mirror – that mirror’s important since it keeps getting taken for one of those two-way jobs.
An ex-army man (Jeremy Lloyd Thomas) is the one who gets landed with that old standby line “We should all try and get some rest”; Chris Sheridan is an annoying dynamo with a yoof street way of talking; Susie Hawthorne, back with the company after eighteen years, is a coke-sniffing ex-model; newcomer Angie Smith is timid mouse Moira; Susan Earnshaw gets to be the hearty one in boots; Al Naed is the statutory boatman with a West Country accent and a line in local folk-lore.
It has to be said that homage tumbles into a weak and ragged, over-derivative ending. Nevertheless, this is an excellent choice to kick off Nottingham’s Thriller Season.
Marty Stone: Chris Sheridan.
Kirsty: Sarah Wynne Kordas.
Greg Perryman: Jeremy Lloyd Thomas.
Jen Abinger: Susan Earnshaw.
Moira Perkins: Angie Smith.
Marcus Kyle: Adrian Lloyd-James.
Sophie Fox-Norton: Susie Hawthorne.
Caitlin Daly: Karen Henson.
Bob Broader: Al Naed.
Director: Mary Elliot Nelson.
Designer: Geoff Gilder.
Lighting: Michael Donoghue.
Sound/Original Music: David Gilbrook.