Cambridge's leading amateur theatre production company

Established 1981

A Murder Is Announced
by  Agatha Christie adapted by Leslie Darbon   directed by Lyn Chatterton

The ADC Theatre, Cambridge, July 2007

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A Review of A Murder Is Announced
by Julian Christopher

The invitation spelled it out quite clearly: "A murder is announced and will take place on Friday, October 13th, at Little Paddocks, at 6:30p.m." Everyone expected a simple party game - a secret 'murderer' is chosen, the lights go out, the 'victim' falls, and the players guess 'whodunit'. Amusing - until a real corpse is discovered. A game as murderous as this requires the best player of all... Miss Jane Marple.
 
The cast tasked with taking us through the myriad twists and turns of this plot all gave good performances although, at times, hesitation crept in slowing the pace, particularly in Act 1.  This may have been partly the staging as placement of furniture caused some awkward moves, particularly for the Inspector who at times was required to squeeze between an armchair and the wall down right.  There were some awkward moments too when the only two actors on stage were standing at the extreme opposite sides of the stage.  However, these niggles aside we had an absorbing evening.
 
Murmurs of approval ran round the audience with the entry of the excellent Margaret Clark, the epitome of Miss Marple, and we enjoyed her performance as much as she obviously enjoyed performing for us.  Alex Priestley gave a well-rounded performance as Letty,  Rosemary Eason was particularly amusing as Mitzi the Russian maid and Gillian Reed was first-rate as the confused Dora Bunner.  Ken Eason put in a very believable performance as Inspector Craddock gaining some good reaction when sparring with Jane Marple!  Compliments to Michael Comfort for his impressively unobtrusive performance as Sergeant Mellors, always where he should have been and constantly taking notes. 

The large cast was completed by Alexandra Fye, Paul Smith, Alexandra Smart, Liz Beeson, Rob Newman and Adam Augustyn who all played their parts to the full ensuring the success of the show.

Director Lyn Chatterton decided to play up the comedy angle so that the deaths were met with guffaws of laughter rather than gasps of horror and the cast, tongue-in-cheek, looked straight into the audience daring us to be surprised: the audience lapped it up as the plot weaved through the investigation to the final denouement.
 Bawds once again hit the right button with the choice of this play, playing to near capacity houses throughout the week.