Arsenic and Old Lace

Norwich Theatre Royal

> Norwich Theatre Royal

Brooklyn broads don't seem so dull after all in Robin Herford's new production of Arsenic and Old Lace. I don't think I've ever seen a family with so many skeletons in cupboards... under window the basement...and all at the whim of two such nice-looking old ladies.

The show has always been subtle, grown-up farce and is famously black in its humour. Its very title has become a by-word for lethal but lovely spinsters. And the production ran and ran on both sides of the Atlantic.

And what fun it all was on stage last night. Almost like musical comedy without the songs. It's no surprise to find that the creative team who adapted it for Broadway – Howard Lindsay and Russell Crouse – also cooked up the Thirties hit Anything Goes.

But even without a musical underscore, the comic timing was so perfect you could almost have been listening to a series of duets, solos and ensemble suites.

Angela Thorne (to the Manor Born) and Brigit Forsyth (Boon/Poirot) hit just the right notes as the well-meaning murderesses. Between them, they exuded a sense of calm finality, with their definite little gestures and recipes for poison. Sylvester McCoy also gave a star turn, with a voice that had all the melodies of the quintessential gangster.

Most Read

It was well-crafted comedy.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter