I have to say that I do love a good Agatha Christie Murder mystery and those of you that do read subscribe to Blazing Minds will have seen my review of And Then There Were None starring Frazer Hines, so when the chance to see A Murder is Announced at Venue Cymru came up, I couldn’t say no to seeing a production of a classic Miss Marple mystery adapted by Leslie Darbon and designed & directed by Michael Lunney.
Venue Cymru was a packed house for the evening’s performance, which goes to show that there is still a passion for the wonderful mysteries from Agatha Christie, the Middle Ground Theatre Company Ltd had set the scene for a night of intrigue, laughter and, of course, murder!
We were introduced to the characters and the house that the deed would take place, a very authentic looking scene of the living room that would be the focal point of the evening, the stage was laid out to give it a large focal point and the chance to see what was going on from every seat in the theatre.
The residents of Chipping Cleghorn are astonished to read an advert in the local newspaper that a murder will take place this coming Friday at Little Paddocks, the home of Letitia Blacklock.“A murder is announced and will take place on Friday, October the thirteenth, at Little Paddocks – at six-thirty p.m.”Click To Tweet
The build-up to the murder is nicely done with some brilliant performances from the cast as they ponder on the news in the local newspaper and who will be murdered, is it all a joke, or some elaborate rouse to get the family and friends all in one place. With them unable to resist, they gather at the house at the appointed time, when suddenly the lights go out and a gun is fired, which does cause several sharp intakes of breath and the odd scream in the audience (now this is theatre, the fun and excitement of not expecting something like this on the stage). Enter Miss Marple, beautifully played by Louise Jameson (who many on here will know from Doctor Who), who must unravel a complex series of relationships and events to solve the mystery of the killer.
As with all Agatha Christie plays, this one is full of moments when you think you know who is the murderer only to suddenly say to yourself, “no, hang on, I was wrong!“.
I have to say that this is one of the Christie plays I hadn’t seen and it was a joy to watch the performances from Janet Dibley (The Two Of Us/Doctors) as Letitia Blacklock, with Tom Butcher (Doctors/The Bill), Sarah Thomas (Last Of The Summer Wine), Lucy Evans (Coronation Street) and Dean Smith (Waterloo Road/Last Tango In Halifax) as they brought the play to life on Venue Cymru’s stage.
This is certainly a play that you shouldn’t miss, It has everything you could want from a murder mystery, great cast and set design, production and direction, mystery and intrigue, laughter and shocks. So I highly recommend seeing A Murder is Announced while it is running at Venue Cymru. You have until the 20th September to catch it in Llandudno, so book now via the website venuecymru.co.uk or call the Box Office 01492 87 20 00.
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