A Murder is Announced by Middle Ground Theatre Company

I’m quite the Agatha Christie fan girl these days. Not only have I devoured many of her books, I’ve also seen a lot of her work adapted into plays including The Mousetrap, And Then There Were None and Witness for the Prosecution. So, when I heard that A Murder Is Announced was visiting the Dundee Rep, I knew I’d have to see it.

The play begins with the residents of Chipping Cleghorn reading a peculiar advert in the local newspaper, which announces that a murder is to take place at Little Paddocks, a home that belongs to Letitia Blacklock. Curiosity gets the better of the group and they gather at the house, just as the lights go out and a shot is fired.

The lavish production by Middle Ground Theatre, which features Bergerac star Louise Jameson and ex-Eastenders star Janet Dibley, puts Miss Marple’s detective skills to the test as she works to unravel this complex mystery. As always Agatha Christie’s writing, stands up to the test of time and I was properly on the edge of my seat throughout this spellbinding production.

It may have been more than forty years since her death, but the Queen of Crime is still a masterful storyteller who is more than worthy of her crown. With a nostalgic set, a taut script and a fantastic cast, I would highly recommend seeing this production of A Murder is Announced.

I’m also pleased to report that I managed to guess the murderer, although to be fair, I did guess about five other characters first! But that’s the fun of a good old whodunnit isn’t it?

A Murder is Announced is currently touring the UK. For further information, please visit: http://www.middlegroundtheatre.co.uk

*Disclaimer – I was provided with two tickets to the performance in exchange for this fair and honest review.

The Mousetrap, Perth Concert Hall – Review

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Tony Boncza (Major Metcalf), Oliver Gully (Christopher Wren) and Anna Andresen (Mollie Ralston) in The Mousetrap. Credit Liza Maria Dawson

It’s confession time. I’m a bit of a Agatha Christie fan girl. As a child I watched my mother devour her books, but it wasn’t until I watched a theatre production of Then There Were None, a few years ago, that I realised just gripping and relevant her work is still today.

On Monday night I had the pleasure of seeing her epic play The Mousetrap, which has been running in London for a whopping 60 years. Thanks to a UK wide tour I didn’t have to travel all the way to London to see it, I watched it from the very lovely Perth Concert Hall instead just 30 miles away from where I live.

The play is set in the newly opened guest house Monkswell Manor, where the owners Mollie and Gilles Ralston and their guests are snowed in. Then a visitor arrives, his name is Sergeant Trotter and he comes with news of a murder which is somehow connected to the guest house and its inhabitants.

To say any more than that, really would be a crime itself, so I’m going to stop there and urge you to see it as I did – like a blind mouse, kept very much in the dark!

With superb acting from all the cast, including the fantastic Anna Andreson as Mollie, Oliver Gully as Christopher Wren and Lewis Collier as Sergeant Trotter, and a fantastic set – this production is a must see. But it is the clever script and the glorious twists and turns that captivate the audience and make Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap a national treasure.

The Mousetrap is currently touring the UK. For more information and ticket information, please visit: http://mousetrapontour.com/

 

 

Review: Agatha Christie’s Witness for the Prosecution at Dundee Rep

Witness for the prosecutionAfter thoroughly enjoying Dundee Rep’s spectacular production of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None a few years back, I was really excited to see their latest production of Christie’s play, Witness for the Prosecution.

The play centres around Leonard Vole, an apparently harmless and lovable rogue who stands accused of murdering the wealthy Emily French. He knew this older lady well, they were firm friends in fact, Vole even admits that he was with her on the night of her murder, but claims he was back at home long before any crime had taken place. But will the court believe that he’s innocent? Will the testimony of Vole’s strange and mysterious wife Romaine, his only alibi, be enough to prove to the judge, jury and the audience that he is in fact not guilty?

I’m not going to say much more about the story as I want you to be just as gripped by the twists and turns of the court room drama as I was. I want you too to gasp so loudly that the person next to you shakes their head and gives you a loud tsk (apologies Mum). But what I will tell you is this – I spent my entire time in the “jury” seat trying to second guess how the play would unfold, and I got it wrong every single time. Forty years after her death, Dame Agatha Christie’s still got it.

With Christie’s play demanding a big cast, this was an ambitious undertaking for the Dundee Rep, but they smashed it, producing a slick and compelling drama worthy of any west end theatre. With stellar performances, a fantastic set and a positively captivating story, I highly recommend you get yourself down to the Dundee Rep and see Witness for the Prosecution very soon.

Witness for the Prosecution is on at the Dundee Rep until Saturday the 19th of March. For further information and to book tickets, visit their website: www.dundeerep.co.uk