Inspector Drake and the Black Widow

Date 28th February 2020
Society Bedworth Theatre Company
Venue Bedworth Arts Centre
Type of Production Play
Director Stella Niblock

Report

Author: Emma Laing

Bedworth Theatre Company once again gave the audience a night of entertainment with the performance of Inspector Drake and the Black Widow. As the title suggests the Inspector is called to solve the murder of a wealthy man and the ongoing disappearance of Sergeant Plod's pet spider.

The set, which gave the perfect introduction to the time period of the show, was well constructed with the French doors at the back giving a stately feel to the room. Given the theatre the performance took place in gives no opportunity for a monumental set change, the set worked perfectly. The costumes were for the most part in keeping with the time period of the performance and worked well. The lighting was precise and well conducted by Dale Hammond with sound following suit.

The story opens with Sergeant Plod introducing the case along with his pet arachnid to the audience. The part, once again performed by Richard Nicholls, was performed with wit, comedy and soul. Through his many monologues progressing the story, his characterisation never faltered. Arriving on stage in a cardboard box, Inspector Drake played by David Robertson starts to solve the case. David’s performance of the role was executed superbly. He was perfect counterpart to Richard Nicholls and between the two of them were great. I was also impressed by their improvisation skills.

The part of maid, played by Kathryn Griffiths, was amusing to watch. Kathryn's characterisation and performance were terrific, and I’d expect nothing less from her. Duane Hilton performed as the doctor and once again proved his ability to perform any role with ease. The comedic nature of his performance had me laughing whenever he was on stage.

Amy Mallard was played by Megan Wainwright, who characterised the role perfectly. She was alluring, sexy and exactly what you would expect from the character. Her untimely death was well performed as well, adding slight comedy to the scene. The triplets, interestingly played by Laura Wilthew, was very amusing to watch. The addition of Richard Nicholls performing as one of the triplets, which later became twins as he had to resume his role as Sgt Plod, added to the comedic nature of the character. Laura performed the part brilliantly and I was very impressed with her performance given that this is her first performance with Bedworth Theatre Company.

The Zoologist, played by Elliot Line, was well executed and despite his short period on stage, Elliot brought a sense of fun to the play as he tried to save Inspector Drake from the Black Widow’s bite. Sam Griffiths who played Lady Devonshire showed impressive wheelchair skills and performed an interesting lightsaber fight with Inspector Drake. Although not in keeping with the time period (this is down the script and not Bedworth Theatre Company) the performance is set, it gave an interesting and very humorous scene to the performance.

Overall, the performance was enjoyable to watch and a barrel of laughs. Bedworth Theatre Company once again proved you do not need to perform in a big venue or on a big stage to provide an audience with a night of entertainment comedy and humour.