AFTER a long absence Chiltern Players made a welcome return to the boards with this thought-provoking murder mystery by Bettine Manktelow.
This thriller tells the story of an amateur dramatic group rehearsing in an end-of-the-pier theatre when they are locked in. One by one they all meet with a fatal accident until only two of them are left. The mystery is whether what the viewer sees is what actually happens — or whether there are hidden forces in operation.
From the moment the spooky opening music began, augmented by the squawking of seagulls agitated by the stormy weather outside, the Players captured the attention of the audience and the atmosphere was set for the evening.
This play is as much about the complicated and creative relationships between the various cast members as it is about a murder. Leading lady Sue Clark gave a strong, controlled performance as Sylvia, who was evidently enjoying her fling with young actor Alex (Angus Draycott) while staying loyal to her producer husband.
Curtain Up On Murder is a play within a play and as such needs a strong and confident amateur dramatic society to execute something of its complexity. Director Ian Miles and producer Jenifer Titchenor have achieved this, with an enjoyable and convincing show.