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June 2021

Recipe for Murder - J D Robins

By Christine Blow

NODA review

Group: Cowes AODS
Show: Recipe for Murder
Venue: Trinity Theatre, Cowes, Isle of Wight
Date: Sunday 5th June 2021
Director: Dinah Bowman
Script J D Robins




With the interference of Covid 19, it was third time lucky for Director Dinah Bowman’s production. It was certainly worth the wait and everyone involved should be commended for ensuring that the production went ahead and that the theatre was safe. It was surprising that the audience had to be reminded to keep their masks on as any discomfort should have been forgotten during the twists and turns of this entertaining thriller that was very engrossing.

The welcoming from Front of House was as warm as ever and despite the enforced reduction of audience numbers to 25%, resulting in 50 seats, the atmosphere was still good.

The set and props were well thought out and represented a typical middle class home. Strategically placed armchairs and two exits enabled the requisite social distancing. The costumes were perfect, particularly the contrast between the wealthy Claire and her rather dowdy and homely sister in law. The lighting was effective throughout. The Trinity Theatre can always be relied on to uphold their high standards in all areas.

The plot centres around a married couple David (Martin Woolven) a research scientist, his wife, Claire, (Carolyn Ferguson), a writer and Beatrice, (Amanda Robertson) David’s sister. The final cast member being Kit,  played by Steve Taverner, a journalist, a new neighbour.

Martin Woolven, who stepped into the role at very short notice, should be congratulated for his believable David. Patient with his rather overbearing sister and laconic in conversations with his composed wife to good effect. Amanda was excellent in her role, competently vacillating between fussing over her brother, flirting with their guest and making cutting remarks directed at her sister-in-law. Carolyn was perfect in her role as the calm and sophisticated woman who was able to stem accusations from Kit and criticism from Beatrice with aplomb. Her facial expressions were remarkable and used to great effect. One look from her speaking volumes. She cleverly led the audience to believe she was the guilty party, very early on, just by her  subtle body language and expressive face. Steve Taverner’s portrayal of a probing journalist, determined to get a scoop, was very convincing. His dialogue with Carolyn doggedly making suggestions and constantly probing was excellent.

 David’s various ailments, including stomach ulcers and chest pain and the resultant imbibing of medicines plus various liquids kept the audience guessing as to whether he was being poisoned. With the suspicion placed on Claire, the twist at the end was most surprising and enjoyable.

 Congratulations to Director Dinah Bowman and her assistant, Carolyn Ferguson. This was an entertaining show and a very welcome back to the world of amateur dramatics we love and have missed so much.


Christine Blow                 NODA South East