National Operatic & Dramatic Association
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A Murder is Announced


3rd November 2017


St Bernadette's Parish Players


St Bernadette's Church Hall

Type of Production



Bob Taylor


Author: Eddie Regan

This play was a popular choice for St Bernadette’s Players, as was proved by good audience numbers. This Miss Marple Mystery by Agatha Christie and adapted for the stage by Leslie Darbon was very well directed by Bob Taylor. This was a big cast, with a wide age-range.

The curtains opened to reveal a very well designed and constructed drawing room part of an early Victorian house, “Little Paddocks” in Chipping Clegham. Particular attention had been paid to the dressing of the set, with which I was very impressed, apart from the two large chairs, set downstage. I felt that they seemed at odds with the other pieces of furniture

There were some very good performances in this classic play.

Lynn Davies as Dora Bunner gave a convincing performance with good comic timing with just the correct amount of eccentricity. It was encouraging to see some young up and coming actors in the cast who all played their roles with confidence and with good projection and diction.

Sam Bolton as Patrick Simmons and Luke Foley as Edmond Swettenham looked comfortable in their roles and I am sure they gained valuable experience in this play. Well done to Shannon Poleon as Mitzi the maid who breezed in and out of the action. Her mature performance belied her youth.

The iconic role of Miss Marple has been interpreted in many ways by a plethora of actors both on stage and screen. This interpretation by Barbara Brown was excellent and she used her undoubted experience to create a convincing and believable character. She was fascinating to watch as she moved around the stage and reacted to the other actors.

Geraldine Brown as Phillipa Haymes was delightful in her role. It was unfortunate that there was some hesitancy, with dialogue, by some of the actors. This resulted in a lack of pace at times.

The costumes and accessories were excellent and helped to create the overall, required, atmosphere. Lighting and sound were particularly important to the plot in this piece and Hayley Price is to be congratulated on the end result.  Well done to all involved in this production!

 It is notable that standards are improving and this was another very enjoyable visit to St Bernadette’s.