Blood smeared down a sliding door, a ‘body’ falling out of a cupboard and ‘’Murderers’ written in dust - prime ingredients for a thriller.
Amid the shock twists, there’s a a shoal of red herrings along the way to throw budding Miss Marples and Hercules Poirots off the scent in Old Tupton Chapel Players’ production this week.
Murder by Misadventure is an ingenious production in which no-one is quite what they seem, there’s a surprise finale and the technical crew work as hard as the performers to create a thrilling atmosphere.
Andrew Bradley and Barry Johnson play TV scriptwriters, the former cast as Harold who is careful with his money and has saved enough to buy a luxurious seaside apartment. Harold wants to dissolve the partnership but he has a secret and his colleague, Paul, a hard-drinking ladies man and skint with it, uses blackmail to ensure that he’s kept on the payroll.
Both make their characters believable and have a weighty script which required a bit of help from the prompt at the performance last night (Wednesday).
Sally Mason gives her usual first-class performance in the role of Harold’s wife Emma, an interesting character who transforms as the play nears its conclusion.
Clarity and confidence ooze from Tristan Weston in the role of perceptive Inspector Egan who visits the couple after they have devised a plot to murder Paul.
A big pat on the back for Peter Ramshaw, co-ordinator the technical and lighting side of the play, and Daniel Fletcher on sound and effects, who do a great job to build the atmosphere through sliding doors, the sound of a humidifier switching on and suspense-filled music between scenes.
Matthew Joynes directs the play which is one of the most contemporary that the players have performed, hinting at a gay relationship between the two writers which is obviously denied.
Murder by Misadventure, by Edward Taylor, continues its run at Old Tupton Methodist Church until Saturday, April 30, at 7.15pm.