Strong cast in atmospheric evening of Christie intrigue
LOVERS of thrillers – particularly the Agatha Christie variety – will be in their element at Derby Theatre this week.
A Murder Is Announced will give mystery fanatics a good fix of bloodshed and mayhem, plus a few well-known names as a bonus.
The atmosphere of murder is fixed from the start, beyond the title of the play, when the hapless and slow-witted Bunny, played convincingly by Claire Fisher, spots an announcement in the paper.
It states that there will be a murder at the house she is in at 6.30pm later that day and so starts a build-up of tension and apprehension.
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The large cast is headed by former Dr Who companion and veteran actress Katy Manning, as the formidable Letitia Blacklock, whose life is suddenly in danger, as a consequence of the announcement. She is ably supported by former television stars Dean Gaffney, playing Patrick, and Gemma Bissix, as Julia, who are well-known for their roles in EastEnders as Robbie and Clare respectively.
Stealing the laughs in the show is Julia Main as neurotic home help Mitzi, who suspects her papers and passport are about to be rescinded and she will be sent back to her European homeland – but it is not clear where that is.
Sleuth Miss Marple, played by Geraldine Newman, saves the day as usual and her efforts are much appreciated by the not-so-bumbling Inspector Craddock, played by former 'Allo 'Allo star John D Collins.
The 1950s setting, together with the atmospheric music of the era, make for a predictable but pleasant evening of intrigue at Derby Theatre.
A Murder is Announced continues at Derby Theatre until Saturday.