Prescription For Murder at Burnley Garrick's new home

Burnley Garrick Theatre Group appears to have settled very well in its new home, Burnley Youth Theatre.

By Gilly Fontaine Grist
Thursday, 21st April 2022, 3:45 pm

Their fourth play of this season, ‘Prescription For Murder’ by Norman Robbins, invites the audience into the lives of Dr Richard Forth (played by Liam Husband) and his wife Barbara (Holly Boland), in a quiet town.

Mark Storton (director) had not known the play when he was asked to direct it, however, with the play’s mix of suspense and intrigue and a strain of warm humour running through the characterisation, seems to be the perfect playscript for Storton, who has previously directed ‘Dial M For Murder’, for The Garrick.

Liam is a confident and clear Dr Richard Forth, with a presence on the stage; Holly creates a believable frail, hunched and timid Barbara Forth, then a confident and assured character when appropriate – we are subtly drawn into Mrs Forth’s vision of her life one minute, only to be surprised by her sudden revelations the next.

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Laura Kay’s Julia exudes charisma and confident elegance: Laura is clearly at home on the stage and convinces the audience that Julia holds a few emotional cards along with her wealth. Angela Foulds (the cleaning lady, Dorothy) is superbly funny, lightning darker scenes with wit and comic timing, as does Neil Tramner (the Forths’ friend, Allan).

His mannerisms and banter with wife Mary (Vivienne Thornber) are a joy. Vivienne and Neil are perfectly cast in these roles and are a pleasure to watch. Newcomer to the stage, John Williams (Eric) shows much promise. I had believed that his tentativeness on first appearance to be that of a new actor, however, I was mistaken: as the story develops, so does John’s character, and his potential in future productions is hinted at.

A slight muffling of dialogue occurs when actors speak upstage, however, this is rare and does not detract from the plot.

As usual, the hard work put in by set designers and creators (Mark Storton and Chris Thornber) is immediately apparent: the set is gorgeous and spacious. The costumes are cheerful, complimenting the set, and lighting/sound is good, safe in the hands of Richard I’Anson, Paddy Keane, Barbara Bailey and Tom Whittaker.

The play runs until Saturday April 23rd and tickets can be booked on or by telephoning 07788 554939.