Lord Arthur Saville's Crime

Date 26th March 2022
Society Richmond Amateur Dramatic Society
Venue The Georgian Theatre Royal
Type of Production Play
Director Gregan Davis
Stage Manager Beki Stevenson
Lighting and Sound Miles Templeton
Written By Constance Cox

Report

Author: John Holliday

For their Spring Show RADS brought the audience of Richmond a Murder Mystery with a twist. Not a Who Did it, but a “Will he do it”; “How will he do it?” and “Who will he do it to”? A very clever twist on the traditional genre but a very entertaining play indeed.

Lord Arthur Saville’s Crime, directed by Gregan Davis, used a very simple yet highly effective box set maximizing the space available on the Georgian Theatre stage and every detail in both the set and props were perfect for the period setting of the play.

Prior to a family gathering and with his upcoming marriage firmly on his mind, Lord Arthur Saville is informed by his loving fiancée that her mother is insistent on uncovering his past and indeed potential future misdemeanors by a palm reading with a Cheiromantist. Despite his reluctance, Lord Saville agrees and with the revelation of him carrying out a murder in the future he decides the best way forward is to commit the crime prior to his marriage so married life will be free from any future disasters – let pandemonium commence.

Jasper Worallo took on the title role, a huge challenge as he barely left the stage for the entire show. Jasper coped well with a very wordy script, capturing the slightly idiotic and clearly very naïve young aristocrat. His scenes with his butler, played excellently by Mike Walker, were a delight as the 2 bounced ideas off each other and one by one their plots were foiled, and their proposed victims survived each attempt.

Matha Templeton continues to impress with her performances, and the young almost juvenile portrayal of Saville’s devoted fiancée, Sybil Merton, contrasted brilliantly with her agonizing and patronizing mother, played with real conviction by Gill Page was great to watch, Lady Julia Merton clearly determined to trip up Saville and prevent the forthcoming nuptials.

There were numerous cameo performances in the show, mostly of Saville’s family or household with strong performances from them all including Nicola Stephenson as the flirtatious maid, Roger Ordish as Saville’s strait-laced Uncle and local Vicar and I particularly enjoyed the contrasting characteristics of his 2 Aunts, played with real conviction by Jennifer Roberts and Jackie Mcleod. Both ladies gave strong performances allowing us real insight into their relationship with Saville.

All of these family members would come under attack from Saville and the murder methods became even more chaotic with the introduction of Herr Winkelkopf, an anarachist and lover of all things explosive! Lee Morris gave us the performance of the night, his energy level, interaction with the other characters and crazy Prussian accent never faulted and his crazy plans brought delight to the audience.

When we 1st met the Mr Podgers, the Cheiromantist, there was always a sly undertone in his character played with great effectiveness by Lee Bowles that you always felt there would be a twist. The revelation of the fake reading and scheme to blackmail Lord Arthur brought the show to a great finale.

With the potential for the scenes becoming repetitive with the way the play is written, Gregan did a brilliant job to keep the pace of the play going and effective mini scene changes and good use of lighting and sound the play was a resounding success. Well done to all of the team behind the scenes, the costumes, set and props gave the show the attention to detail it deserved.

A thoroughly enjoyable evening and with wonderful hospitality from Lynne and Warnock Kerr who ensured a warm welcome.

My feet are tapping already waiting in anticipation for Stepping Out in the Summer…..