MURDER ON THE NILE
23rd November 2017
Central Hall, Wymondham
Type of Production
Author: Susan DuPont
Director Leanne Neave, together with assistant John Harrod and producer Amanda Oelrichs, brought together a well balanced and highly suitable cast for the characters featured, although I understood after the performance that there had been re-arrangements and re-castings: however there seemed to be no weak links in the change of cast. And with some new recruits to the team, the company keeps the standard.
Must congratulate the design and construction team on the set which looked very good and suitable and worked well for the action. And the costume team had done well in their choices with some glamour on show.
The team assembled in the salon on the observation deck: the most persistent and annoying Beadseller of Peter Fiddling who would not take no, but who was buzzed away by the Steward Bob McClenning, these two set the scene and mood for a Nile cruise, along with the background sound. Arrival of Heather Carpenter as Miss Ffoliot-ffolkes as the cut-glass and snobbish upper-class in an excellent period character study, dressed in great style and demanding all attention throughout her appearances (a dream of a part), and her niece Christina played by Alison Burton crushed by the aunt’s personality and demands, and yet finding encouragement from some of the other passengers, nicely realised role, a good foil for the aunt, and bringing out the ‘class’ of the period.
Arrival of two men: the Doctor Bessner from Alan Sarbut King, and I could not work out why he must have collaborated in the deception of the wounded knee as a doctor, and the mysterious Smith from Ryan McGee, where did he come from or fit in, was he a part of the plot indeed or just a voice of reason and sanity, revealed in the explanation. Think these were two newcomers to the group and worth keeping hold of for future.
The honey-mooners Kay (Becky Davis) and Simon (John Harrod) Mostyn as the rich and glamourous couple hiding on this cruise from the third member of the triangle: they looked so good and matched, we had the nervous hysteria of the bride and her imaginings and the stalwart support of new husband (was he after the money). Seems that this casting saw the assistant director stepping up to the plate as replacement who knew the show and words, and certainly none would know he was not the original chosen cast member. A very credible partnership. And the triangle included the ex-fiancee Jacqueline from Colleen Giacometti as she haunted her friend Kay, and, unknown to those of us who had forgotten the plot, collaborated with Simon in undermining the relationships and ‘murder’. Add in the hapless maid Louise (Sophie Cator) who was stubborn and indignant at accusations but who unknowingly brought the story to it’s conclusion.
And the role to relish and expand quietly and competently take over the centre stage, Alan Carpenter as Cannon Pennefather just led the combatants to incriminate their thoughts and actions, stirred the emotions and atmosphere, added his part into this story, and just unravelled the many strands in this mystery to reach a true Agatha Christie finale, a perfect role accomplished in style and quiet efficiency of purpose.
I had forgotten this play so it was a pleasure for me, and for the rest of the audience, to be so entertained for the evening by Wymondham Players.