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Go Back For Murder – Theatre Royal Glasgow – 18th – 23rd Nov 2013

Published by: Jon Cuthbertson on 18th Nov 2013 | View all blogs by Jon Cuthbertson

The Official Agatha Christie Theatre Company returns, in their eighth year, with Go Back For Murder, one of Agatha Christie’s last plays, based on her novel Five Little Pigs.

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With an all star cast, Joe Harmston reliably at the helm and a great Agatha Christie story, this has all the makings of a successful night of theatre...and it pretty much pulls it off. Simon Scullion’s simple set design is put to good use in Act 1, with many choreographed scene changes using only a few items to represent the changes of location. These seamless transitions added a lot to the production value and with the clever lighting effects both here and in the second act added another dimension to the elements of tension and drama.

 

The cast however have a lot of dialogue to convey before we get to the drama. The rather confusing story involves Carla Le Marchant returning from Canada to avenge the, she believes, wrongful conviction of her recently deceased mother, Caroline Crale (both roles played by Sophie Ward) for the murder of her father, Amyas Crale (enigmatically played by Gary Mavers). To do this, she enlists the help of Justin Fogg, the son of her mother’s lawyer. Fogg, charmingly performed by Agatha Christie regular Ben Nealon, carries a lot of the narrative and does well to deliver this with enough variety to keep it interesting without ever becoming “hammy”. The “Five Little Pigs” of the original title were all those present on the day of the murder. Angela Warren – Caroline’s half sister, Miss Williams – her governess, Lady Elsa Greer – Amyas’ current artistic muse and mistress and finally Philip and Meredith Blake – brothers and childhood friends of Caroline and Amyas. Act 1 introduced us to them all in 1968 as Carla speaks to them all individually about the events 20 years earlier. Act 2 they all return to the scene of the crime and their recounting of the tale leads rather cleverly into flashbacks of the events of that fateful day.

 

Liza Goddard as Miss Williams makes a remarkable transformation and her physicality in playing the same character 20 years apart had some lovely touches. Her warm delivery and clever timing also gave some nice humorous moments to this piece. Lysette Anthony as Elsa also handles this age gap well. She not only captures the performance of a 19 year old, but looks just this age too when required, however her best lines are delivered when she is the more powerful, but lifeless Lady Greer. The most likeable character seems to be Meredith, his concern in both 1968 for Carla and 1948 for Caroline are evident in the solid performance from Antony Edridge. The most difficult to convince however was Robert Duncan as Philip. His portrayal of the older Philip was handled well, and his delivery of the younger Philip was also impressive, but unfortunately even from midway back stalls he was too old to play this role. The same could also be said for Sophie Ward. Her own confident portrayal didn’t help to convince me that she was a girl in her early 20s, but did work very well as the mother, Caroline (perhaps helped by being a more comfortable accent for her to work in too). The stand out performance came from Georgia Neville, making her professional debut as Angela. Her contrasting roles as this character at 14 and then 34 gave the actress a chance to show off her diverse talents and will definitely be a name we will see again.

 

With enough clues to allow you to guess “whodunnit”, the Agatha Christie Company have selected another interesting play to produce. Taking Agatha Christie’s substance, they have added the style and created another intriguing night of theatre for all murder mystery fans.

  

Performances

 

Mon 18 Nov – Sat 23 Nov

Mon – Sat eves 7.30pm

Thu & Sat mats 2.30pm

Tickets: £11.90 - £37.90

 

Box Office: 0844 871 7647 (Bkg fee)

 Book: http://uktheatrenet.ambassadortickets.com

Comments

1 Comment

  • Cameron Lowe
    by Cameron Lowe 4 years ago
    Thanks, Jon. This sounds like an engaging night.
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