Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich
> Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich
It is no big mystery why this thriller has stood the test of time. It has some of the best-twisted plots in the business.
Parallels with earlier productions since its first outing in 1970, or with Michael Caine/Laurence Olivier are beside the point.
This production in the intimacy of the Maddermarket, its stage converted to a country house, is a joy to watch – a parody of the Agatha Christie genre yet utilising many of its tricks.
Built around the classic rivalry of a younger and an older man over a woman, the twists and turns are both pleasing and ingenious. What marks this thriller is the humour that crackles throughout – “never speak ill of the deadly”.
Noel Jones as the woman's husband is a writer who enjoys the repartee and upper hand over his wife's lover (John Mangan), both men carry the weight of plot, counter plot, sleight of hand and comic punctuation with distinction.
- 1 Hermes courier and his wife could be jailed over ‘stolen parcels’
- 2 Obituary: Tributes after 'heart-shaped hole' is left following teaching assistant's death
- 3 How Norfolk's current Covid figures compare to November 2020 lockdown
- 4 Row erupts after dozens of trees aligning footpath chopped down
- 5 Man arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting girl on her way to school
- 6 Christmas lights switch-on cancelled due to forecasted high winds
- 7 Freezing cold temperatures could see snow in parts of Norfolk this weekend
- 8 Fire crews tackle large barn blaze
- 9 Significant damage to church after metal stolen from roof
- 10 Primary pupil sexually assaulted on way to school
Nothing in psychological drama is what it seems, and the second half is full of denouements and gags, for example: “Sex is the game, marriage is the penalty.”
It is gamesmanship and reality versus a fictional detective world that are finally revealed as the real rivals.
Rob Morris has directed a mini masterpiece which should appeal to lovers of all ages, all genres and of sophisticated writing.