The Game's Afoot

Date 21st November 2019
Society Allerton Players
Venue The Forum
Type of Production Play
Director Deborah Hugill


Author: Rhoda Fraser

 Allerton Players, a riotous evening of all round great entertainment, thank you for inviting me.

Director, Deborah Hugill, a lovely choice of play pre Christmas to get us in the mood. Set on Christmas Eve I would have liked to see more evidence of Christmas in the way of decorations but that is just my personal thought.  Your choice of cast worked well together, had been well rehearsed, and all suited their rolls. The dead body scenes worked with energy and great humour and of course trust on Katie’s part, these are not easy things to rehearse off the set, well done to you all. The extra explanation in your program of the real William Gillette, gave nice touch.

William Gillette (Steve Charlton) the gentleman this play is based around. The actor who loves to play Sherlock Holmes and gets a chance after someone has tried to kill him. He invites everyone from the cast of the play he is in to his home for Christmas celebrations, but then there is a murder and the plot thickens. Steve headed the team capturing the essence of Holmes very well, some lovely moments with your mother Martha, also the dead body scene; it was a killer my ribs ached laughing.

Martha Gillette (Frances Bainbridge) the dotty mother of the household, leaving us constantly wondering “what did she really know?” A lovely soft edged, dithery character so loyal to her son, as a mother would be.

Felix Geisel (Chris Donnelly) a great friend of Gillette, a strong supporting roll from Chris, who always throws himself into the part!

Madge Geisel (Cherry Das) looking every bit the Diva, and I loved your outburst in the séance scene “wonderful darling.”

Simon Bright (Ewan McNulty) and Aggie Wheeler (Laura Reynolds) as the newly married couple gave youth and conspiracy to the house party, you kept us guessing as to whether you had organised crime before.

Daria Chase (Katie Bowie) the Theatre critic everyone loves to hate. From the moment Katie stepped on stage she took control, showing everyone that she could dish the dirt. A superb performance, even in death!

Inspector Goring (Olivia Mulligan) although only appearing after the murder she made an impact with her eccentric ways and was never far from the truth of the matter. Great costume for her character, I loved the no nonsense attitude in the midst of mayhem. I found afterwards a young woman hidden under that hat and I look forward to seeing Olivia playing other rolls.

Stage Management Robert Trentholm, also the society chairman, thank you for managing a team to produce storms, hidden bars and music, well done to all backstage the evening ran smoothly. The audience were kept guessing as to who the killer in their midst was right until the end of the play, the séance scene was well done by the cast working to make it very atmospheric one of the highlights.