24th October 2014
Marlborough Dramatic Club
Type of Production
Author: Tessa Davies
Another well directed and well performed play from Marlborough. I do so enjoy watching their plays as they pay superb attention to detail and the cast are always well rehearsed. Director Patricia Staley keeps her characters moving without it appearing contrived, there was always something going on which is important in a play of this complexity.
Jackie Parry, as the busybody Mrs Piper, was terrific, with some great nuances to her performance; she was living the part which made it particularly enjoyable to watch. It was a real pleasure just watching her facial expressions change with the dialogue. Guy Harding, as DS Baxter, demonstrated that he is just as good at performing comedy roles as he is performing heroic ones. He has a commanding stage presence and, a couple of small dialogue issues apart, his performance was strong and a pleasure to watch. He was ably supported by Andrew Spong as his subordinate, DC Goddard.
The cast was completed by Bill Jaycock (Richard Marshall) every inch the successful business man, although we did get to see the softer side of his character towards the end of the play. Josie Bruty played his wife Claire Marshall with good empathy and a strong portrayal of the long suffering wife of a successful businessman. Juliette Bird (Marion Selby) gave us a masterclass in her portrayal of the haughty PA with a deep regard for her boss. Roy Hobson (Robert Westerby) kept me guessing to the very end, he was the last person I suspected, just as a good murder mystery script should be! Finally Phoebe Milham, playing the young typist Vickie Reynolds, with just the right amount of cheekiness and flightiness we would expect. Every member of the cast had great characterisations and made the twists and turns of the plot very interesting.
The set was terrific and I always enjoy spotting the extra touches that the set designers and builders add to give it authenticity. Every time we moved to the next scene there were subtle changes that indicated the change of time etc. Costumes and hair were, as always with Marlborough, spot on. If I have a criticism it would be that I would have liked some incidental music to cover the short scene changes but, that is being really picky. This was a play that I thoroughly enjoyed, shame that the audience was much smaller than usual for Marlborough’s plays, they missed a treat.