Presented by Therry Dramatic Society
Reviewed 8 Nov 2017
Alan Ayckbourn was a quite prolific playwright, so we can’t expect all of his offerings to be classics, and this one isn’t. Kerrin White not only directed this production but designed the set, which with scenic artistry by Nick Spottiswoode looks suitably old and dilapidated.
The characterisations were well done: Roman Turkiewicz as composrer Mortimer Chalke was obnoxious and self centred giving everyone a reason to dispose of him; whilst Gigi Jeffers as his long suffering sister Jocelyn, a writer, provided the homely character around which this strange household revolves. The third sibling, Brinton, an artist, is played by Ben Todd who manages to embody the “funny little man” constantly protected by his sister. Jocelyn’s daughter Amy adds another layer to this mix; a moody dysfunctional teenager played superbly by Bonnie McAllister.
In this house of failures – neither the composer, writer nor artist has been published or displayed – there is also a failed detective, Norris Honeywell, who has never solved a case. The character that causes the murder to be on the horizon is Wendy Windwood, beautifully underplayed by Miriam Keane, who is to be Mortimer’s sole heir, disinheriting all the siblings.
As Honeywell, Brad Martin controls most of the action, discovering clues and following up on motives, but even his sterling efforts can not keep this play on track. Martin’s performance is engaging but unfortunately the play is not.
There are funny bits and slow bits, and the script contains what should be the recipe for a good thriller, but it doesn’t gel. The title says it could be any one and they all have motive, but by the reveal I wasn’t sure I cared.
Reviewed by Fran Edwards