Arsenic and Old Lace

Date 2nd June 2023
Society The Florians Dramatic Society
Venue Florians Theatre, Inverness
Type of Production Play
Director Trevor Nicol


Author: Douglas J Clark, Regional Rep

This production of Joseph Kesserling’s 1939 play, under Trevor Nicol’s expert direction, was a masterclass in how to deliver a farcical black comedy. Every nuance in the script of the irony of two seemingly innocent elderly spinsters being the murderers of 12 (or is it 13?) lonely men was wrung out by the 11 strong cast with not a weak link amongst them. Caroline Nicol and Aileen Hendry as the elderly Brewster sisters Abby and Martha were superb. From their innocent expressions to the matter-of-fact way they described the dispatch of their victims they had the audience in stitches! Tom Masterton as their eccentric – verging on insane – nephew Teddy gave a magnificently over-the-top performance as the bugle blowing imaginary President Roosevelt as he unwittingly assisted in the disposal of the bodies. Scott Crichton as their drama critic nephew Mortimer gave a stellar performance as the only “normal” member of the Brewster family as he tried to protect his aunts exploits being uncovered by both the police and his fiance Elaine Harper, delightfully and strongly played by Jo Galloway. Martin Anderson as the prodigal nephew Jonathan portrayed the character’s evil and sadistic traits with just the right mix of comedy and menace as did Nicholas Nicol as his plastic surgeon sidekick Dr Einstein. Strong support was given by Euan Sinclair (Officer O’Hara and aspiring playwright), Ian Shearer (Officer Brophy), Richard Miemczyk (Lt. Rooney) and Simon Lyall (Rev. Dr. Harper/Mr Gibbs/ Mr Witherspoon). The set of the living room of the Brewster’s house in Brooklyn was an excellent representation of a turn of the century New York mansion. The full house audience were in fits of laughter from start to finish and the cast fully deserved the hearty and lengthy round of applause they received at the end of the evening. Congratulations all on another great production.