As in all the best thrillers, nothing is quite as it seems in Dead Guilty, Talking Scarlet’s new production which is playing to enthusiastic houses at Chesterfield’s Pomegranate this week.
For the first half-hour or so it doesn’t even seem to be a thriller at all: rather, a gentle domestic drama about the aftermath of a car accident.
Julia (Anna Brecon), still recovering from the crash, is spiky and volatile – and not telling the whole truth to anyone but her counsellor.
Gary, Julia’s ‘daily male’ (Ben Roddy), is helpful and good-natured until someone else comes into her life – then his jealous side appears.
The someone else is Margaret (Jenny Funnell), widow of the driver in the accident. She is all sweetness and light on the surface – but are there demons lurking underneath?
Anne, the counsellor, is caught in the crossfire. Jo Castleton does a great job with a thankless role. It’s never easy to make a dull character interesting on stage, but she succeeds.
In fact, as strange goings-on became stranger and the tension level ratchets up, all four of them succeed, as did the hard-working stage crew.
More power to Talking Scarlet for another classy production.
Dead Guilty continues its run at the Pomegranate tonight (Friday, April 19) and tomorrow.