Review – ‘A Party to Murder’ – talking Scarlet

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I’m glad I spotted the advertised show at the New Theatre Royal Lincoln recently, ‘A Party to Murder’…

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Despite a mix up with my booking which was completely my fault (the Box Office were extremely helpful in sorting it out!), my husband, Danny and I had a very enjoyable evening last night, Monday 14th November.

‘A Party to Murder’ – Synopsis 

Six people have come in secret on Halloween to play a murder mystery game at a rustic island cottage. Secret passageways, incriminating letters, hidden compartments, bodies in the window seat and a twenty five year old unsolved mystery twist and turn toward the unexpected and terrifying conclusion.

To be honest, I wasn’t sure what the experience was going to be like, having not seen many plays before, and certainly none in Lincoln, I’ve only ever really seen musicals or opera; but after the first few minutes, when I must admit I really wasn’t sure (I can’t say any more than that without giving away too much), it was a delight!

The cast were all brilliant, Ben Roddy as Konrad/Charles and Natasha Gray (Emmerdale) as Mrs McKnight/Valerie, set the scene, which took place in a cottage on an island, in the middle of a lake, somewhere in North America on 31st October 1988.  With a halloween theme, and regular references to Agatha Christie, we knew, as an audience, we’d be in for a few twists and turns, but I never expected to be carried along from scene to scene, in such a compelling way!

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The Eastbourne Herald quoted:

…takes you on a lurching ride of suspense and surprises.  It is a Russian doll of a plot: lift one painted layer, and there is another beneath.  And in a second half of utterly unexpected developments, you never know whether you have reached the final enigmatic face.  There is intrigue, darkish humour and genuine tension… it’s really good entertainment… the plot twists had Tuesday’s opening night audience gasping until the very final line

I cannot disagree with a single word in the review above…  I have a tendency to physically jump when startled, and Danny enjoyed my looks of constant surprise as I was regularly shocked  throughout the performance!

We were kept guessing right to the very end, and without a doubt, never, for one moment, could anticipate the outcome of the plot!

Exceptional performances by all the cast including Oliver Mellor (Coronation Street) who played Ernie/Willy, Michelle Morris (The Knock) who played Evelyn/McKenzie, Claire Fisher who played O’Karma/Henri and last but by no means least John Hester playing Merryweather/Elwood.  I was very pleasantly surprised by their professionalism and portrayal of their various characters throughout.  Every word was very clear and easily understood, and despite there only being one stage/set, it was so well put together that as an audience, we were in the room with them.  I was amazed at their ability to swap their characters and voices as quickly as they did;  it was all very believable.

If anyone from the Lincoln or surrounding area is considering a night out either today, Tuesday 15th or tomorrow Wednesday 16th November (including matinee performances Wednesday) please don’t hesitate, it’s well worth a visit!

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Thank you very much Talking Scarlet for this production… I’ll certainly be looking out for more shows in the future!

talking Scarlet was founded in 2001 as a trading name for Big Dog Productions. Since then the company has produced and collaborated in productions at theatres all over the country and toured internationally.  It is now a fully independent Limited Company run by Patric Kearns and Jane Shakespeare.

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@eirajane

@talkingscarlet

@NTRLincoln

 

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