Sunday, 20 August 2017

Engaging play with the right ingredients

REVIEW - YOU’RE stuck in a cold gothic mansion on an island, it’s late at night, the phones are down and there won’t be a ferry until morning. Creepy, huh! Familiar as well?

Yes, if you know Agatha Christie’s renamed And Then There Were None. But the Mill At Sonning’s A Party To Murder is several steps further on from the great dame’s classic story.

It is, in turns, funny, scary, perplexing, mystifying and then all of those again….and again. It’s a very well-plotted play with twists and turns at regular intervals, real character development — unlike the dame’s works — and is exuberantly performed. The Mill doesn’t take itself or the play too seriously which gives room for some exaggerated acting and outrageous situations. And that’s entirely in keeping with this branch of drama.

Describing any part of this plot would be a spoiler because the play is so skilfully constructed by writers Marcia Kash and Doug Hughes that we never really know who the baddy is — actually they’re all made out to be baddies, but who is the baddest of them all?

But if there’s one thing you can be certain of it’s that with a halloween party, lights exploding, weird noises and a strange past history in this drafty old mansion someone’s going to be murdered; who and when are the only unknowns.

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