Thanks to Agatha Christie and her Miss Maple and Hercule Poirot, for as good as 100 years we seen in theatres and on screens sleuths go about solving murders in the manors and castles of the well off, usually situated in isolated havens that seem to invariably attract bad weather. There characters sustain outward appearances of calm and resilience (at least until they get knocked off) while our heroes go about discerning the minutest of clues that open up the solution to the crimes.
“The Murder at Haversham Manor” by the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society is another in this line with Inspector Carter (Nick Simpson-Deeks) called in to solve the death of Charles Haversham (Darcy Brown). The big difference here is that anything that could go wrong with the production does; I mean the silly fools can’t even get the curtain to open properly at the start of the show.
This Australian production of somewhat of an English classic by three young writers Henrys Lewis and Shields and Jonathan Sayer is a masterpiece of comedy and slapstick. It is not often that the set is as much a star of the show as any of the players but Nigel Hook’s living room and upstairs library pops, burns, collapses and explodes in ways you thought possible only in big budget 3D movies.
The fact that much of the dialogue is hard to discern hardly matters as mayhem quickly descends and crew members get caught on the stage, sometime helping out and at others just plain dangerous to themselves and others.
It’s all great fun for every age and it’s great seeing an Australian cast so seamlessly pulling off farce on this scale – size and invention – when usually it is the provenance of our English cousins. But spare a thought for the stage manager who has put the set back together after each show.
Kryztoff Rating 4K