Saturday, 16 June 2012

Murder Mistaken (theatre)

The Devonshire Park Theatre in July is the venue for another murderous thriller. Murder Mistaken is a tense, psychological play set in 1950s England.

The play was written by Janet Green and was made into the 1955 film Cast A Dark Shadow which starred Dirk Bogarde, Mona Washbourne and Margaret Lockwood. Janet Green wrote for several Rank Organisation movies including the original story and screenplay for The Clouded Yellow which was recently screened at the Underground Theatre.

Murder Mistaken is not a who-dunnit, as we know the murderer from almost the beginning of the play, but rather is a exploration of the workings of the killer's mind.
The cold, calculating and yet charming Edward Bare has a passion for older women and especially their money. When his rich wife looks to be outliving her usefulness, Edward hastens her demise, but the reading of her will reveals an unpleasant surprise. Undeterred, Edward marries again, this time to a rich widow. But when a third attractive and wealthy lady arrives on the scene, will Edward revisit his murderous past?

Devonshire Park Theatre, Tue 10th - Sat 14th July, 19:45.
Wed & Sat matinees, 14:30.
Various prices, see Eastbourne Theatres website for details.

1 comment:

  1. Murder Mistaken is a single-set play, taking place in the morning room of Monica, the
    first Mrs Bear, who was gently and convincingly portrayed by Julia Binns. We also meet an entertainingly stroppy lawyer, Philip (James
    Campbell) and Monica's maid, Emmie (Erin Geraghty). I was initially a little unsure about Emmie as she seemed too much of a caricature, but I was soon proved wrong and the role had great pathos.

    The audience were baffled by the red curtain coming down at the end of the first scene. There had been a very short first act for Rope a few weeks previously, but surely it wasn't ice-cream time already? It wasn't! It was essential to cover the stage for the scene change and I thought perhaps there was no black curtain to use instead. However, the red came down at the end of every scene and was combined with a
    dimming spotlight at the start of the new scene. As the play progressed, this effect really added to the atmosphere and audience anticipation.

    Nick Barclay put in a powerful and well-judged performance as Edward Bear. Just the right mix of suave and unsettling to begin with and then turning up the menace and madness. He was well matched by Freda Jefferies (Amelia Cormack) who totally understood her character. However, I thought the script let her down on a few occasions. Miss Young (Sophie Leigh) was a vulnerable young teacher and the class contrast between her and Freda was played to nice effect.

    The first act is a slow-burn but the second really takes off, with several twists and turns that kept us all guessing. One denouement drew such a loud gasp of surprise! The play was nicely paced throughout and was very entertaining.