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A Murder Is Announced

posted 18 May 2010, 15:11 by Unknown user   [ updated 18 May 2010, 15:14 ]

An Agatha Christie play always promises an evening of “Tension, suspense and murder” with a fair sprinkling of humour, well plotted convoluted storyline and startling denouement. We shouldn’t expect believable characters as well, but such is the quality of the Wycliffe Drama Group’s acting, that we get them.


It is a surprise to Miss Blacklock when an announcement appears in the local paper’s personal column announcing a murder that evening, at her home. (I suspect that today’s reporters at the “Mail” would have immediately investigated such an ad, but this was set in “Agatha Christie time” where people did things differently).  Mary McDermott played the calm, elegant and unflappable Miss Blacklock who laughed it all off as a joke -until a murder happened. Mary never put a foot wrong even when the light and sound effects seemed to be on a time delay. A convincing performance.


So our super sleuth, the twinkly Miss Marple appeared. Sylvia Smith was quite the best Miss Marple I’ve seen since Joan Hickson, no wonder she quickly won over crusty Inspector Craddock. Richard Hill was a splendid Inspector, totally at ease on stage.


These very strong leads were ably supported by the rest of the cast. Letty’s oldest and most dangerous friend, the dotty and confused Bunny, was nicely portrayed by Norma Harratt.  Mitzi could have been just a comic role but Liz Sherwood added far more, with her unslippable Eastern European accent and great facial expressions. The Inspector’s obligatory sidekick Sergeant was the amusing and reliable Richard Holyoak.  Murder suspects were played with conviction by Becky Harwood, Russell Grant, Paul Jackson, Anne Marie Hawkins and Beverly Stead and even Jack Gamble as the murder victim, (seen briefly and in the dark) made the part his own.


The audience had a great evening, thankyou WDG!


Vivien Window