Trap for a Lonely Man

Norwich Theatre Royal

Twists, turns and farcical touches abound in this psychological thriller from 1960s' France.

Briefly, Daniel Corban – Emmerdale's Chris Tate (played by Peter Amory) – finds himself in a lonely chalet in the Alps with his fabulously wealthy wife. But as the curtain goes up on its criss-cross beams and shabby grandeur, it finds him all alone, smoking furiously. Where has she gone?

We are not left to wonder for long, however, as the priest (Christopher Hackett) suddenly arrives with the news that he has found her. But when the door opens, it is not his wife at all, but an impostor! The outraged husband protests, but to no avail. Everyone else corroborates her identity. It would seem that he is the victim of a foul conspiracy.

The script was written in 1960s' France by playwright Robert Thomas, and it made his name. In the same year, he penned Eight Women, or Huit Femmes, which you may have seen in its 2002 film version featuring the likes of Catherine Deneuve.

This production has something of that film's sparkle, but does not quite touch its verve.

Still, performances by Geoffrey Davies, as the Inspector, and Michael Tudor Barnes, as the opera singing Tramp, are real gems; and the action pops along very pleasantly with gentle feu d'artifice, as the French would say, but not much in the way of a real taste of danger.

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t Nightly until Saturday May 1 at 7.30. Matinees, 2.30pm, Thursday and Saturday. Box office:01603 630000.

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