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REVIEW: Loddon Players' Death by Fatal Murder

PUBLISHED: 17:23 11 July 2018

Loddon Players perform Peter Gordon's Death by Fatal Murder. Photo: Ian Taylor.

Loddon Players perform Peter Gordon's Death by Fatal Murder. Photo: Ian Taylor.

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I watched this production along with a full audience on a very hot night.

However, in true theatre tradition the play went on, by a very talented cast, who earned their tremendous applause at the end of the evening.

The show opens with a very short scene with Nancy Allwright well played by Vicki Blanchard and the body of the murdered man that we hope the police will solve, a mysterious figure who is vital to the plot. Then we move on to the main story and the rest of the cast.

First came Ginny Farquhar, excellently played by the talented Jackie Bingham, with a brilliant upper class accent and a laugh that could set everybody giggling anytime she let it rip.

She was talking to Constable Thomkins, played by Adrian Chiverton, who was searching for the murderer. He made a very good foil for the bumbling excellently named Inspector Pratt. How Tony Bown, who played him brilliantly, remembered all those lines with very clever twisted words is beyond me. Inspector Pratt was on stage most of the show and he was able to take us along with him with very clever use of the fourth wall of the stage. It was as if we were actually in the picture of the old Colonel watching as the play unfolds its web of intrigue.

Joan Maple, played excellently by Beth Rose, in the vein of a certain Miss Marple who was able to deduce certain facts but was in fact mixed up in the whole plot in a way that you would not be able to guess at. This then led us to meet the two paying guests at the house a wonderfully possibly psychic Blodwyn Morgan and Enzo Garibaldi who was an Italian who was allowed to live free after being interned, as this play was set in 1940.

However, Inspector Pratt was able to mix up his name to a Mr Gary Baldy this might give you some idea of the twist of words the Inspector got himself in.

The two guests were played by two of Loddon Players long standing stable of really talented thespians and it was lovely to see them again Carolyn Dover and Anthony Bunting.

The last cast member was Nancy Allwright’s supposedly husband Squadron Leader Roger (Stiffy) Allwright played by Mike Catling.

The play moved along at an excellent pace enabling us to enjoy all the mix ups as they came along. One particularly well played scene was the seance were the split stage worked really well to explain most of the story. When we did get to the end of the story, I won’t spoil it in case you get a chance to see it sometime, suffice to say nothing was as it seems at the beginning. We were left with a real surprise when the set really did play its own part in the story.

As they always say these things are team events and the team certainly all played their parts really well with excellent Direction by Howard Dover and Pauline Mason, period costumes, a set that really looked the part, backed up by lighting and sound, to the friendly front of house staff. A final well done to Loddon Players I look forward to the next one and I hope it’s well supported by local people I hope they understand what an asset they have in the town.

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