Murder most horrid makes for an entertaining evening courtesy of the Rossendale Player’s production of “Murdered to Death”.
The Agatha Christie spoof from the pen of Peter Gordon has all the ingredients of a classic Christie – but with plenty of laughs to boot.
Set in a 1930s country manor, the play revolves around the murder of ageing Mildred, played by Christine Durkin, and a collection of forged paintings.
Performed at Whitworth Civic Hall, away from the Players’ ususal home in Waterfoot, the stage, set and costumes are as always impressive, with great attention to period detail.
I attended the opening night and, not surprisingly, there were a few missed lines and prompts needed, but overall the performance of all the cast was excellent.
Stand-out performer was Tony McDonagh in the role of the hapless Inspector Pratt, a character reminiscent of Peter Sellers’ famous bumbling Inspector Clouseau from the Pink Panther films.
Tony managed to combine plenty of malapropisms with some genuine slapstick moments.
Another to gain plenty of laughs from the audience was Elliot Brown in the role of the droll, deadbeat butler Bunting.
Foreign accents are never easy to pull off, but David Rhodes also garned chuckles with his portrayal of shady French art dealer Pierre Marcea.
Philippa Vipham is an entertaining, slightly neurotic Dorothy, and of course no Agatha Christie spoof could be complete without a busybody spinster detective – the part of Miss Maple, played by Alison Topping.
Directed by Helen Lockett, “Murdered to Death” runs until Saturday, November 29th with each performance starting at 7-30pm.