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“The Business of Murder”
A very cleverly written play from Richard Harris, leading us in Act 1 down what we thought was a fairly straight road, only to find in Act 2 the road had many different twists and turns.
Adam Croft, who directed the piece well, also did a good job with the set design. I liked the fact that we could see into the different rooms and the cupboard as part of the set, and the gauze inset so that we could see into the bedroom was well thought out.
Lighting and sound design from Fred Rayment, along with good direction suited the feel of the piece, and I liked the choice of music. Act 1 finished with a particularly arresting sound effect.
I thought Act 1 was a little slow, it didn’t grip me, although during Act 2 I saw the need for Stone to act like an old man. However, that said a little more pace would have heightened the expectation for me. Act 2 was much more lively, showing Stone in his true colours, and creating a nice tension leading us to the final act, proving that for everyone involved murder was indeed their business.
The cast, Alistair Brown, Iain Wood and Leanne Lyndsey White all gave good characterisations, and I liked how their interpretations fitted round each other, presumably a meld of good direction from Adam, and the experience of the actors.
Dee, (Leanne) a TV playwright, the girl friend of Superintendent Hallett (Iain),
really looked the part in a beautiful red suit, accessorised with black, always a
winning combination. Leanne alternated between being business-
I liked Ian’s portrayal – he made Hallett seem like a normal guy, fairly casual in outlook, but aware of his responsibilities as a police man – then perturbed and scared when the reason for Stone’s plan became clear.
Alistair always creates a layered character, which Stone gave him the opportunity to explore. It was interesting watching the way he reversed Stone’s persona during the production.
I thought the bows were first class, they didn’t detract from the tension of the final scene, and were in keeping with the feel of the piece.
I can’t say I was blown away by the play itself, although I appreciated the acting and cohesion of the cast.
“THE BUSINESS OF MURDER”
review date:9th May 2017
Little Theatre, Dunstable
Director: Adam Croft