Henley Standard Property
HOME

Date:

Order your copy Advertise with us! HENLEY PAGES
Delivering the news from Henley on Thames and South Oxfordshire for over 100 years
  News     Sport    Celebrity   What's On Regulars Community Info Henley Standard TV Lifestyle Property Jobs Classifieds Gallery Trade
                               Follow us    Follow us    Newsfeed Search the Henley Standard  
Review: Perfect murder is a laughing matter
Published 17/03/14



VICTOR and Joan Smiley are the kind of bickering, sniping couple who never get invited to dinner parties. Whatever spark ignited their relationship has long been extinguished, and all that’s left is bitterness. But would a normal, respectable, middle-class couple really resort to thoughts of how to commit the perfect murder?

According to Peter James, whose novella has been adapted for stage by Shaun McKenna, the answer is yes. The bestselling author of the Roy Grace detective novels has spent decades picking the brains of top detectives, and discovered that there is such a thing as a perfect murder — it’s the one that no one ever hears about.

The play opens with the kind of ambient music you would expect to hear in an elevator, which signals straight away that this is a comedy and perhaps not to be taken too seriously. It’s just as well, because Les Dennis, who plays Victor, is a natural comedian. Known to the nation as the doyen of game shows like Family Fortunes, he’s the sort of rotund, avuncular guy who makes you smile just by walking into the room.

Victor and Joan (Claire Goose) may hate one another’s guts, and they may both be carrying on with their respective bits of fluff (a brawny taxi driver and a Croatian call girl) but the repartee between them is very funny. And there are some true comic moments in this play. I don’t want to give the game away, but think black plastic binliners and duck tape being desperately administered to a corpse over the living room sofa.

Roy Grace investigates as a fledgling detective constable keen to make a good impression, and his dabblings with the “psychic” powers of one of his informants is an intriguing sub-plot.


This show has high production values, with a slickly designed set and top-notch acting. Dennis wants to get back into serious theatre and he shows his versatility in this role.

I was never quite convinced that the Smileys hated one another enough for murder — their banter seemed affectionate at times — but I’m prepared to bow to Peter James’ superior knowledge. After all, that missing neighbour who ran off with the au pair to Australia could well be lying in a shallow grave.

•Continues to March 15. Box office 01494 512000.

The Perfect Murder

Monday, March 10

Wycombe Swan

Lesley Potter

PUBLISHED 17/03/14



 
MOST POPULAR
Crowds 'Rewind' despite weather
A-Level results joy for local students
Peer wins fight over 'prison' house
13th business to close this year
17 new homes planned after firm leaves
Village pub could re-open with B&B
Pride and joy for rowers in Rio
Boy, 16, wins race that inspired him to swim
 
 
LATEST LIFESTYLE HEADLINES
Car’s out to Captur a bigger market share
Rugged performer lets you go your own way
Motorists could be playing with tyre...
Luxury minus the showroom price tag
Curry heaven at Café le Raj
John Deere mower is on offer
‘To travel ergonomically’ improves on old adage
Focus on... growing old gracefully with Tai Chi
Day or night, aim to exercise right
We have great offers on laser hair removal
Mindfulness course is all about living life
Studio One is calling adults to the barre
Latest Video View more from   Henley Standard TV
ADVERTISE WITH US
LATEST NEWS HEADLINES
Crews get wet and wild at fun regatta
Commuters happier as Thames Side opens
Henley Games encourages next Olympians
17 new homes planned after firm leaves
Crowds 'Rewind' despite weather
Top Videos
 
Most Popular
 
 
 
 
Higgs Group
HIGGS GROUP
Tel: 01491 419400
www.higgsgroup.co.uk
HENLEY PAGES
Tel: 01491 419419
www.henleypages.com
HIGGS PRINTING & DESIGN
Tel: 01491 149429
www.higgsprinitng.co.uk
HIGGS OFFICE SUPPLIES
Tel: 01491 419499
www.higgsofficesupplies.co.uk
HENLEY LIFE MAGAZINE
Tel: 01491 419449
www.henleylife.co.uk
  HIGGS GROUP, Caxton House, 1 Station Road, Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire, RG9 1AD. Telephone (01491) 419400  
© Higgs & Co (Printing) Limited 2012  |  Registered in England number 1418717