A host of popular names from the TV and stage world are set to star in a murder-mystery penned by the queen of suspense.
Louise Jameson and Janet Dibley head the cast of the Agatha Christie classic A Murder Is Announced, which comes to Norwich Theatre Royal on July 3-8.
It all begins when an advertisement is placed in the local newspaper warning that a murder is set to happen in the village of Chipping Cleghorn.
A group of residents get together at the date, time and venue of the predicted death, and sure enough the lights go out and a gun is fired.
So who is the killer, why have they taken a life and what has led to it happening? Enter the ever-curious Miss Marple to try and unravel the mystery.
Taking on the role of the super sleuth is Louise Jameson who is known for a wealth of well-known TV roles including the matriarch of Walford’s restaurant-owning family, Rosa Di Marco, in EastEnders, and Susan Young, the long-suffering partner of the BBC’s popular Jersey-based crime-fighter Bergerac. She also still remains popular with devotees of the TV Time Lord, Doctor Who, after playing his companion Leela opposite Tom Baker in the Seventies.
Joining Louise in the cast is Janet Dibley, who plays Letitia Blacklock, who is the owner of the home where the murder happens. A versatile and popular actress, she starred opposite Nicholas Lyndhurst in the popular situation comedy The Two Of Us with other prominent roles including Lorna Cartwright in EastEnders and Dr Elaine Cassidy in Doctors.
The cast will also feature four other actors well-known to fans of popular small-screen shows. They are Tom Butcher who played the cocky PC Steve Loxton in The Bill and Dr Marc Elliott in the BBC’s daytime soap Doctors, and Sarah Thomas who played the mousey housewife Glenda Wilkinson in the Beeb’s long-running comedy favourite Last of the Summer Wine.
Making the switch from the rolling hills of ITV’s Emmerdale to the quaint village of Chipping Cleghorn is Gemma Oaten who played long-suffering factory worker Rachel Breckle. The cast will also feature fast-emerging actor Dean Smith who played head-teacher’s nephew Philip Ryan in Waterloo Road and also took over the role last year of William Elliott, the son of Sarah Lancashire’s character in Last Tango In Halifax.
The production is being presented by Middle Ground Theatre Company which has been touring shows across the UK and as far afield as Scotland’s Highlands and Islands for almost thirty years.
It has presented well over 40 different productions nationwide and worked with a host of top actors including Hollywood stars Kelly McGillis and Dirk Benedict.
John Bultitude, of Norwich Theatre Royal, said: “We all love a whodunnit and this strong cast will bring the thrills and suspense home to city audiences with this classic tale.
“The producers have assembled some very experienced and versatile performers for the production. With no shortage of suspects and motives, don’t miss the chance to become detective and follow Miss Marple’s progress through a minefield of motives and red herrings.”
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