Mortimer Dramatic Society
Anybody For Murder?, 19th to 20th October and
26th to 27th October 2018
By Brian Clemens & Dennis Spooner. Max is planning to murder his wife Janet, collect her life insurance and enjoy a new life with his girlfriend when Mary and George arrive on their Greek island with news: Mary and Janet are beneficiaries of a huge fortune. Plans and plots hatch, and soon everyone is bent on murder. All that stands in their way is the presence of a neighbour who knows a thing or two about murder, crime writer Edgar Chambers. This full-on, high speed, manic paced comedy is a roller coaster of mayhem and misshape as plots go awry, bodies vanish and re-appear, and everyone is sucked into a maelstrom of greed and murder.
St John's Hall, 22 West End Road, Mortimer Common, RG7 3TF.
Book online via the website or call Tom on 0778 533 3321.
Review of Anybody For Murder?
19th to 20th October and 26th to 27th October 2018
Review from Newbury Theatre.
Brian Clemens and Dennis Spencer’s comedy Anybody For Murder? is based on the unlikely premise that two middle-class English couples would happily commit murder if a lot of money was involved. But let us suspend our disbelief and go along with it.
Max and his wife Janet have a house on a small Greek island, which has a daily ferry to the mainland. Suzy is Max’s girlfriend or, as Janet thinks, ex. Max is planning to kill Janet, collect the insurance money and shack up with Suzy. He adds a sleeping drug to Janet’s cornflakes and carts her off to the bedroom, to be disposed of later. Mary and George arrive with news of an inheritance from a distant relative of Mary and Janet, and Suzy finds herself pretending to be Janet. Edgar, the neighbour, is writing novels about murder, mistaken identity abounds, and at the end of scene 2 my notes say “gets complicated” just before my head exploded.
Despite all this, it is actually very funny, with elements of farce (the clue is in the number of doors: the set has four and in my book anything above three is a good indicator of farce).
Darren Reed as Max has the difficult job of holding it all together which he does brilliantly, working his way around all the obstacles that appear. Kim Antell does well as Suzy pretending to be Janet, and Sam Foad is good as the bemused and over-ouzoed neighbour. Helen Sharpe is very impressive as Janet – even though she does spend most of the play unconscious.
That leaves George and Mary. George (Tom Shorrock) is a pompous but unsuccessful lawyer, thoroughly henpecked by his gorgon of a wife (a top class performance from Mary Auckland). A lot of the comedy came from this couple with some lovely facial expressions from Mary, and George bumbling his way along as the plot thickened.
This was a really impressive production with some excellent acting and good pace from a well-matched cast, directed by Paula Stenson and Phil Collins. The set was well-constructed and suitable for a holiday home. I liked the occasional blackouts followed by tableaux, overcoming the problem of how to move an unconscious or dead body around the set.
In summary, didn’t like the play, loved the production.
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