Wednesday, 24 May 2017

“The Perfect Murder” by Peter James
Nottingham Lace Market Theatre.
Victor Smiley and his wife Joan have been married for a long time. But their marriage has reached crisis point and Victor has decided that there is only one way to get Joan out of his life forever... but he’s about to get a nasty surprise.
As a young Detective Roy Grace starts to investigate his very first murder case, dark forces intervene and he begins to realise that nothing is quite as it seems…
Victor is played by Ian Currie, and what a role, and what a brilliant performance Ian puts in, extracting gasps of disdain from the female audience members in the way that he speaks to Joan. His facial
expressions can turn quite frightening, as is his demeanour most of the way through this play, creating quite a threatening atmosphere. Great character play by Ian.
Joan is played by Jemma Froggatt, and again a very naturalistic performance; her fear when she thinks that Victor is haunting her is quite unnerving, as is the "haunting" scene itself. It really is quite a scary experience. A solid and enjoyable performance from Jemma.
Don, the taxi driver, who Joan is having a fling with, is played by Steve Mitchell. It takes a bit of getting used to his cockney rhyming slang. The comedy side balances well with his sympathetic and empathetic side of his character. Again a very believable portrayal. Ladies will also get a bonus by getting to see Steve in the buff, all in the best possible taste of course!
Kamila, a Croatian working girl, is played by Sophie Owen. I have seen Sophie in several roles in the past, and it's nice to see her in major and juicy role. The accent is good and I love the way that she is involved in the final reveal. Possibly the best role I've seen Sophie in.
Detective Constable Roy Grace is played by Matthew Finkel, making his debut for the Lace Market Theatre.At first I wasn't warming to Grace as he seemed detached from the situation, and then the detachment faded in Act Two and I warmed to the character. I then realised that this really worked in the character's favour, rethought what I initially felt and decided that I was loving Matthew's character acting. I'm looking forward to seeing more roles from Matthew with the Lace Market Theatre.
The set is split into two with part of it being the bedroom and the other part being the kitchen/dinerMark James and combined with the lighting design by Phil Anthony, the highlighting split the two areas perfectly.
The sound design, by Gareth Morris, is clever and could have gone unnoticed because of the natural insertion of the sound affects coming from all areas of the stage. The "haunting" section was incredibly effective from a technical point of view.I imagine also quite challenging.
Directed by Chris Sims, and what a nice combination of high drama as well as the mundane every day life of the warring married couple . The mentions of Benedict Cucumberpatch, and his bottom, as the modern Sherlock, as well as several other modern nods brings this very witty script even more up to date.Some nice little touches ignited the sparkiness in this play
Written by Peter James and adapted for the stage by Shaun McKenna, it’s full of twists and turns in James’ classic thriller style. Having not read this novel, it was new to me, and although I expected a twist at the end, I didn't see what it was or how it would come about.
A really fine cast and technical production made for an exciting evening that is a must for any Peter James fan as well as any thriller fan. Not forgetting the lovely comedy interwoven in the script.
“The Perfect Murder” is at the Lace Market Theatre until Saturday 27 May 2017

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