Nottingham Theatre Royal
The final of this year's Colin McIntyre Classic Thriller Season by Tabs Productions at the Nottingham Theatre Royal closes with the best yet, "Murder Weapon" by Brian Clemens.
There are several nods to other classic writers with the role of Charley Mirren being just a little similar to Steinbeck's Lennie in "Of Mice And Men" whose partner in crime in that play was George, who just happens to be Charley's friend's name from his prison days in "Murder Weapon". Charley has mental health issues and has been convicted of murder and has just been released and has been advised by the prison service to attend meetings with Dr Blake "to help" his rehabilitation.
Dr Blake takes on the case of the damaged ex prisoner and takes him into his confidence and decides that their meetings should take place away from the office, in a pub and once at his home, This is when Dr Blake lets Charley into his own problematic life and between them a plot is hatched to help both Dr Blake and Charley, as Charley has now become reliant on Dr Blake for his friendship.....or so he thinks!
I'd not seen this play before and it was intriguing to spot the clues along the way, and there is one big one which is given out at the start which becomes apparent to the revelations later on in the play and when you get this, the unravelling begins. A real light bulb moment!
It was a brilliant performance by Jeremy Lloyd-Thomas as Charley with his headaches, nightmares and conflicting admissions and denials. You begin to feel sorry for the character and later on you discover just what really did happen that put him in prison ten year's previous.Some quite emotional and powerful scenes as Charley which showcased Jeremy's emotive acting.
Karen Henson, as Jessica Bligh, the detective, is also wonderful in her only acting role this season, but well worth waiting for. Jessica Bligh is the sort of detective whose dogged determination of the innocence of Charley, even though he was caught red handed, gun in hand with a dead body at his feet by Jessica herself and the murdered man's wife, Diane Tulliver, played by Jacqueline Gilbride. really paid off...this time anyway.
Alan Magor plays his most meaty and dramatic role in this Thriller Season, and I can't really say much more without giving anything away, I'll just say that this is my favourite of all of Alan's performances this season.
Michael Sherwin is brought to the fore this week as Inspector Fremont, sidekick to Bligh, and Andrew Ryan, who in the last three weeks has been very prominent, takes a smaller, but no less important role as the murdered Paul Tulliver. Mustn't forget Edward Parris either as Constable Walters. A brilliant cast and an amazing end to a wonderful season.
As I mentioned, there are loving nods to the Scottish play, which seems to run through this season's shows, Durbridge's "Fatal Encounter" and one other, which I will not give away as that is a vital clue,
So to sum up, great cast, great play, great fun and worthy of a standing ovation...if only the rest of the audience had joined me in that one!!
Until the next time Tabs Productions, thank you for the best season ever and I can't wait for next year.