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Absolute Bloody Murder!

Published by: Paul Tyree on 17th Oct 2012 | View all blogs by Paul Tyree

                                 Murder on the Nile

      The Official Agatha Christie Theatre Company

The Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield.   Mon 15th – Sat 20th Oct

 murder on the nile.jpg

As we entered the theatre on Monday night to review Murder on the Nile we were told that Kate O’Mara, the big name draw in this production had dropped out due to ill health and that Nichola McAuliff had replaced her for the rest of the tour. As we settled into our seats we thought no more about it but as the evening progressed I couldn’t help but wonder if Ms O’Mara’s illness might not have been brought on by the sheer awfulness of this production and therefore she had decided to politely withdraw rather than carry on with the charade.

Nichola McAuliffe, perhaps still fresh and unaware, is by far the best thing about this and acquits herself well as does Robert Duncan as Canon Pennefather the amateur sleuth who solves the crime. (No Poirot in this unlike the film version). Then again being the best actors in this play really isn’t a compliment.

The rest of the company are undone by some extremely dodgy accents, poor casting and lazy direction which means this play is the worst thing that I’ve seen in the theatre for years if not ever. Whilst the first half was uninvolving it was in the second half where the real stench that was the rotting corpse of this play began to waft around the theatre.

Long before the end people began to walk out much to the amusement of the crowd and embarrassment of the actors. At one point whilst discussing a gunshot wound one of the actors said that ‘Infection might be setting in’ to which someone to my right loudly said ‘let’s hope so!’.

You could tell that not one of the actors believed in this play or indeed what they were saying. At one point when one of the cast got shot, instead of being dramatic, it got the biggest laugh of the night. The play by this point had descended into farce and was beyond salvation.

Most of the acting seemed like the efforts of some well-meaning amateurs rather than professionals and you could tell that the entire cast just wanted to get it over with as quickly as possible. (A sentiment shared by the audience believe me). This then is a play to be avoided at all costs. No theatre goer should have to suffer in the way that we poor unfortunates did on Monday night and believe me if I’d paid for my ticket then I would have asked for my money back, it really is that bad. If you value Agatha Christie’s memory then please buy one of her books instead. The poor girl will be spinning in her grave about this one.



  • Cameron Lowe
    by Cameron Lowe 5 years ago
    This sounds dreadful. I'm glad to say I've never experienced anything like this. While I sympathise with the disgrutled audience, I have to say that I can never excuse bad behaviour in the theatre. There were clearly many things wrong with this production, but bad feeling like this among the audience is rarely the fault of the people on the stage!

    The second best thing to do is simply not return to your seat after the interval. The BEST thing to do is to read the review on before buying your ticket!!

    Thanks, Paul
  • Carolin Kopplin
    by Carolin Kopplin 5 years ago
    The production must have deteriorated since I saw it in Richmond some months ago. Ms O'Mara was still in the cast and quite good. Although it was not the best thing I had ever seen it was fairly good entertainment and the audience really liked it. I wonder what has happened that it has become pretty much unwatchable.
  • Cameron Lowe
    by Cameron Lowe 5 years ago
    I think we should organise a Reviewer Outing to see this show and then discuss how we would put it right over a few pints ...!
  • Max Hutchinson
    by Max Hutchinson 5 years ago
    You didn't like it then?
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