Review: Sheringham Players - The Unexpected Guest, Sheringham Little Theatre

The cast of An Unxpected Guest

The cast of An Unxpected Guest - Credit: Archant

The Unexpected Guest, Sheringham Little Theatre, The Sheringham Players

A classic Agatha Christie thriller, this play has the potential to slide easily into the cliché drawing room whodunit with diverting contrivances like the mandatory French windows, creepy servants and long, explanatory monologues.

But this adaptation grips our concentration from the moment we see a stranger - the unexpected guest - who has blundered into a murder scene and confronts a body and the dead man's wife standing over him with a gun.

So it's not her then – or is it?

Plays like this are manna to am dram groups as it has a large cast of mainly middle-aged people. And Tim Travers in the leading role of Starkwedder, the stranger, relishes the part but rather underplays it.

Hazel Warrington grows into the role of calm and collected wife of the deceased and David Bull as the poetic Welsh police sergeant provides the light relief.

Everyone is a suspect in this multi-layered plot and the cast successfully maintain a tight momentum.

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But it is Nick Jones who takes the plaudits for his increasingly chilling portrayal of the victim's mentally disabled half-brother Jan Warwick.

Nick is the youngest member of the cast - and this is his first role with Sheringham Players.

So not just a thriller but a mystery wrapped in a puzzle - and the cast revel in it.

Patrick Prekopp

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