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Dead Simple at The Mill at Sonning

Published by: Clare Brotherwood on 20th Jan 2017 | View all blogs by Clare Brotherwood

 

It’s taken me a while to get down to writing this review because, there are so many elements to The Mill’s latest production, I don’t know where to start.

I wish I could just stay with… it’s outrageously entertaining. Words fail me (which isn’t a good thing for a writer!). It’s a storyline which is so jam-packed full of completely unexpected surprises, all I can say is, how one man can think up such a plot is beyond my wildest imagination. It’s one of the best I’ve seen in a lifetime of theatregoing, and gave me huge enjoyment. I don’t think I’ve ever reacted so much. It left me open mouthed, gasping with surprise and incredulity and, at one point, I was even stuffing my fist into my mouth. Best-selling author Peter James, whose book Shaun McKenna’s stage version is based on, is a genius!

It begins with the run-up to Michael Harrison’s wedding. His business partner is arranging a stag night but when armed men turn up at his flat, kidnap him, bury him alive in a coffin in the middle of a forest and then go off and get killed in a head-on crash, the question on everyone’s lips is, will he get out alive?

That remains unanswered for most of the play, but in the meantime all sorts of sub-plots keep us literally on the edge of our seats, as psychopaths and even the supernatural abound.

It’s a hugely complicated and technical production for all actors involved, and my huge thanks to them and to director Keith Myers for presenting us with such thrilling entertainment. I don’t really want to single out anyone as I can’t say why without giving some of the game away, but Louise Stewart as Michael’s fiancée; Martyn Stanbridge as her gloriously camp uncle; Lewis Collier, who has to go through physical torture as Michael, and Matt Milburn as Michael’s emotional business partner, are the protagonists, together with a seriously disturbed young man, magnificently portrayed by Daniel Buckley.

If you like a cracking good story that is likely to scare the hell out of you, this is a must-see!

Dead Simple is at The Mill at Sonning until March 11

Box Office: 0118 969 8000

 

www.millatsonning.com

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