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The Perfect Murder at The Mill at Sonning

Published by: Clare Brotherwood on 22nd Jan 2016 | View all blogs by Clare Brotherwood


The murder in question may or may not be perfect, but this production certainly is.

It has all the ingredients of great entertainment in spades - side-splitting comedy, tragic pathos and spine-chilling horror.

Adapted for the stage by Shaun McKenna from the first of crime writer Peter James’ series of novels featuring detective Roy Grace, it tells the story of Victor and Joanie, for whom marriage really is murder. After 20 years, all they do is bicker and Victor wants to make a new life with his mistress Kamila while Joanie’s unrequited passion drives her into an affair with cabbie Don.

James, whose books have sold 16 million and, after last night, will have at least one more avid reader, certainly doesn’t spare his audience with niceties. Victor - and to some extent Don - is a sexist chauvinist for whom I had no sympathy, and Andrew Paul, last seen as the evil Dan Jones in Coronation Street, is perfectly cast. He gave me the shivers whether alive or dead! In the hands of Aneta Piotrowska and Sonia Saville, however, prostitute Kamila and unloved wife Joanie get all my sympathy.

As with every tragedy laughter isn’t far from the surface and there are some real belly laughs to be had, not least Don’s propensity to using rhyming slang, even though he comes from Tunbridge Wells! Adam Morris is full of himself  as the uncouth Don but he does win me over in parts.

Aneta Piotrowska is perfect as Kamila, a hooker with a heart, while Nick Lawson is suitably understated as DC Roy Grace, working on his first case.

Set in the sixties and accompanied by some well thought out songs from that era, The Perfect Murder also has chilling sound effects from Matt Smee.

Director Keith Myers and his cast have this exciting play really well balanced and, although another version of The Perfect Murder is currently touring the country, starring EastEnders favourites Shane Richie and Jessie Wallace, it is coming nowhere near Berkshire/Oxfordshire. Besides, it sits so much better in the intimate, atmospheric, and some say, haunted, Mill!


The Perfect Murder is at The Mill at Sonning until March 12.

Box Office: 0118 969 8000


1 Comment

  • Cameron Lowe
    by Cameron Lowe 2 years ago
    Sounds excellent, Clare. Many thanks.
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