By Peter Maddern
As its name would suggest, playwright Miles Tredinnick has loaded up his Agatha-Christie-on-steroids comedy with any number of plot contortions to delight and confound his audiences. David Woods (Carsten Oostema) is a bored accountant and failed novelist who finds the lavish and indulged lifestyle of his TV star wife Sarah Seeton (Veronica Howson) all too much and so he conspires to kill her and tell all in his book, something sure to be a best seller.
His brother, Robert, (Richard Hobson) is in on the plan, while South African Hannah Van Lee (Chanelle Le Roux) unwittingly accelerates the timing of its elements after a baggage mix up at Heathrow. David’s irritating flat keeper Mrs Beck (Heather Riley) who isn’t in on it all bells the cat about mysterious noises to the police who send the straight laced Inspector Root (Nick Manning-Bennett) in to investigate.
Kyla Booth’s directorial debut sparkles with zest and gesture sending her players into ever more frenzied actions and apoplectic fits, all pivoted around a blue couch. That couch is the centrepiece of Robert Andrews’ excellent near showroom yet appropriately sterile living room set in which the whole play is worked through.
Carsten Ooostema is compelling as the scheming David possessed of a proper English accent any player would be pleased with let alone one whose native tongue is that bastardisation of the Queen’s tongue espoused by the Americans. Veronica Howson is also superb for her depiction of a TV star who has somewhat lost sense of her real place in the world while Manning-Bennet’s Root is a model of calculating restraint that take us beyond the cliché.
It certainly won’t surprise this reviewer to hear at year’s end that Lamerton winners have come from this production; it’s all rollicking great fun but best enjoyed on nights other than like the heat wave one experienced on opening night.
Kryztoff Rating 4K