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A Murder Is Announced by Agatha Christie
reviewed by Kate Young in
Isle of Wight County Press 19/10/07
(reproduced by kind permission of
Isle of Wight County Press)
ONE of Miss Marple’s most famous murder-mysteries was brought to life in style by Cowes Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society.
A Murder Is Announced is a fabulous tale of deception and double identities and is one of the best-known of Agatha Christie’s murder-mysteries.
Maggi Pearman Taylor excelled in the role of Miss Marple, the clever yet genteel old lady who loves to sleuth, while Ginnie Gledhill was superb as Letitia Blacklock, the woman who appears a paragon of virtue but is hiding a dark secret.
I thought Dinah Bowman was fantastic as poor, confused Bunny, while John English was the epitome of a clever copper as Insp Craddock.
A star is born in the form of Vanessa Wester, whose first major stage role was as temperamental maid Mitzi, while Daniel Cawtheray and Chris White were great as brother and sister Patrick and Julia.
Bryony Davies was thoroughly likeable as Phillipa and it was a great surprise when she was unveiled as Pip — though her motives were not as dastardly as the other characters thought.
Judith Westbrook gave a solid performance as Letitia’s nosy friend Clara, while Dan Whitehead was good as her son, Edmond, the budding writer.
Matt Archer completed the cast as the murdered Rudi Scherz and later as Craddock’s side-kick, Sgt Mellors.
David Fawcett directed this delicious tale of death, where the true villain was the very last suspect.
I felt the tension was well maintained throughout and I was certainly left guessing as the plot unfolded.
The set, props and costumes were also well thought out and the lights-out shooting scene was cleverly executed — to the point where the front-of-house team even flicked the fire exit lights off briefly to ensure the auditorium was in complete darkness for the murder itself.