National Operatic & Dramatic Association
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3rd March 2016


Codsall Dramatic Society


Codsall Village Hall

Type of Production



Phil Harper

Musical Director





Author: Jean Beard

No celebration of the works of Agatha Christie would be complete without "The Unexpected Guest" and the author would have been very proud to have been part of the full house audience for this production.

More seasoned performers with CDS must have found themselves challenged at audition time for this play. Actors appearing for the first time met the challenges from the usual talented line up without faltering. The producer deviated from the norm in that a female was cast in the part of Inspector Becke. Brigid O'Connor gave an excellent interpretation of the no nonsense, lets get on with solving the crime, policeman.  She was very ably supported by Tom Churn as Sergeant Cadwallader who never once let his Welsh accent slip and was totally immersed in his character.There were no weak links in this play and as always Phil Harper brought out the very best in his cast. Jennifer Thorp (Miss Bennett) played mind games with Chad Winfield (Jan Warwick) who as the "challenged" brother had developed mannerisms for his character which he retained every time he appeared. Wendy Peterson (the elderly Mrs Warwick), Raymond Manning, the murdered victims carer, Chris Fairhurst (lover of the victim's wife Laura), Andy Chollerton (mysterious visitor coming in "out of the cold") and Joanna Strong as Laura provided an evening of suspense with a typical Christie twist  at the end. A thoroughly enjoyable evening of theatre going at its best.    

A good set with excellent props and making the most of presenting the play in the round. Very good atmospheric lighting. Sound - you could hear every word, no muffled voices here. Not too happy about some of the clothes, especially some of the men's.suits

This production was part of the annual Codsall Arts Festival and the people of Codsall are fortunate to have such a talented sociery in the heart of the village and I trust they will support all CDS productions and not just at Festival time.