Murdered to Death
|Date||2nd November 2012|
|Venue||Coronation Hall, Mundesley|
|Type of Production||play|
Author: Susan DuPont
Definitely a cross between Agatha Christie with Miss Maple the amateur on-looking sleuth and The Pink Panther series with Inspector Pratt as a take-off on Peter Sellars as Clouseau, this was a multi-murder with lots of laughs. Some really good character parts to develop, no prima roles as all a similar weighting in importance to plot, a good balance within the roles to give a well-rounded play. The hostess of the evening Mildred Bagshot (Pam Kidd) worried about the party, the guests and the situations but unfortunately she did not live too long to enjoy it; the niece Dorothy very caring and coping played as stand-in by director Jean Clarke, and how well she disguised both book and plotting; and to complete the household, the Butler Bunting as a doddering and incompetent character who had another side, well played and taking advantage of all opportunities by Tony Loftus. The guests Colonel and Mrs Craddock played by David Ross and Valerie Newell, he of the military stories and dominant type, she down trodden until she turned, and a different story emerges; the other guests Pierre Marceau (Neil Ellson) the art critic, forger, and cunning agent, and Elizabeth Hartley Trumpington (Judy Ellson) his accomplice and very toffee-nosed, or was she, and were they what they pretended to be, an excellent disclosure and change of character; and the uninvited ‘just popping in’ Miss Maple sitting with her knitting and watching eagle-eyed quietly, played by Lyndsey King in nice character study. And then there were the police: the unfortunate Constable Thomkins who really was brighter than his superior but managed to be on the receiving end, a very good sense of timing with his misfortunes; and to the comedy turn of the piece in Inspector Pratt who managed to create havoc in all directions, certainly to mismanage all situations and evidence, and generally to destroy the evening, played OTT with panache, timing, incompetence, and superb comedy touches by Paul Reynolds, really very good. And I enjoyed the choice of music to accompany the play. Well done.