Murder in Play
|Date||31st August 2018|
|Society||Washington Theatre Group|
|Venue||Washington Arts Centre|
|Type of Production||Play|
Author: Foster Johnson
Simon Brett’s Black Comedy/ Whodunit was a breath of fresh air when brought to life in Washington Theatre Group’s latest offering. It was a play within a play and centred on a struggling repertory company of failing and has been actors, reliving their past successes in the hope of resurrecting their careers, and bright young starlets, reaching for the top.
When the Company decides to stage “Murder at Priorswell Manor” all hell breaks out as the cast are only interested in their own self importance much to the detriment of the show. As a consequence and with the Director more interested in the pursuit of securing liaisons with female cast members and a career in the USA rehearsals become chaotic, tempers sharpen and mayhem erupts. As a result fiction becomes reality when Director Boris Smolensky’s wife Renee is murdered on stage.
The excellent script which detailed the politics of show business and the workings of an inept company of actors was cleverly highlighted by the cast and is something that we all may have well come across in the world of amateur theatre. They were all there to see. John Cairns played the role of the overbearing Director Smolensky well to show just the right amount of the Director’s aggressiveness which covered his own ineptitude, and scheming ways. Pamela Elliott, whom it was nice to see on stage again, portrayed the fast fading star Renee Savage well with a a streak of nastiness as to show why anyone of her fellow cast members could happily murder her. Peter Wilson was cast in the role of Tim Fermor the jobbing actor and Equity representative who covers up his limited acting ability by constantly quoting the rules regarding lunch and tea breaks and his interpretation of the role was nice to witness. John Seymour was cast in the role of Harrison Bracewell a fading Shakespearean actor who is fonder of the bottle and quoting his experiences with Ralph Richardson et al than learning his lines and he again delivered another fine cameo role. Angela Marshall played the naive and star struck hopeful Ginette Vincent completely in character ,whilst Christa D’Amato the fading soap star who forever reminds everyone of her former television career was excellently interpreted by Ingrid Middleton. Joanne McLeron as the solid and very astute Sophie Lawton an actress of no little talent who is forced into the roles of maids etc was admirable Last but by no means least Angela Chard gave a sterling performance as the put upon stage manager and dogsbody Pat.