Miss Marple is at the Theatre Royal in Norwich this week as ‘A Murder is Announced’ in the newspaper to take place that evening in the house of Letitia Blacklock (Janet Dibley).
Set in the drawing room of an early Victorian house in Chipping Cleghorn during October 1950, the cosy feeling of the sitting room extended into the toasty auditorium. But this is an Agatha Christie tale of more than one murder, deception, and deceit – the things people will do to get hold of or keep someone’s money!
Over the course of the following few days the police inspector (Tom Butcher) will attempt to solve the mystery, with the assistance of the seemingly uninvited Miss Marple (Louise Jameson). The backdrop to the staging helps the audience gauge the passage of time by showing subtle projections of sunset, darkness, and daylight.
A few things in the story don’t quite add up though. Does Dora (Sarah Thomas, who you will recognise from Last of the Summer Wine) really have problems with her memory, or is she just shouted down to protect another conspiracy? What happened to her flowers? And why was there already a vase only containing water – no flowers – on the side table?
The story picks up pace during the second act when loose ends start coming together. Beware who you have sympathy for though, as not everyone is who they appear to be.
This is a quiet and intimate performance, so be prepared to listen carefully; and the Theatre Royal did their bit too by offering paper cups to decant sweets into. It’s best to keep the murders on stage than to involve the person at the back of the auditorium rustling their sweetie wrappers.
Now, anyone for a slice of Delicious Death cake?
© Gareth Douce 2017
A Murder Is Announced, Monday 3-Saturday 8 July at 7.30pm, and Wednesday and Saturday matinees at 2.30pm. Tickets £7-£24.50. Discounts for Friends, Corporate Club, Over-60s, Under-18s and Groups. Captioned performance on Wed 5 July at 2.30pm.
To book, log onto www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk or call the box office on 01603 630000
Read the background to this production here: http://norwicheye.co.uk/whats-on/all-star-cast-bring-agatha-christie-classic-to-the-stage-2/