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“MURDER ON THE ORIENTAL RUG”


An interesting concept for a Youth production, but one that worked well.  I was particularly impressed by the confidence of the young people when they came into the audience at the end of the production to answer questions, so that we could decide who the murderer was (which, as usual, I didn’t guess correctly)!!


The set was fine for this type of production, although there were a couple of props that meant an exit was not as easily accessible as it could have been,.


There were some good lighting moments – particularly when the action was in retrospect.  Sound was good throughout, and the cast on the whole projected well.  There was one place where the Doctor needed to speak louder, but I’m not sure whether this was on purpose or not, as the ‘Director’ later referred to projection in her notes.


Costumes were OK, and gave a nod to the type of character the cast were playing, however, they all looked a little untidy, and there were some very suspect wigs.


Sabrina Hassan was very confident as the Director, and gave a good interpretation, keeping the motley members of her cast in line.  I was not as convinced with her portrayal of Dwayne in the play within the play, but she died very well!


Jasmine Hassan played the part of Ascott, the supposed professional amongst the cast, and then Doctor Jesson – both parts accomplished well.  The business with the stethoscope was nicely managed, and most amusing.


Zac Clementson played the parts of Dirk and Bruce Boulder – he did both with enthusiasm, projected extremely well, and I had him in the frame for the murderer at one stage, as he was assuming some very shifty looks during the final part of the play.


Emily Woodham portrayed the very ditzy blonde Dakota and then Emma Jesson – I liked her characterisation, both were very well done, and she retained her characters throughout.


Jen Lavender played Lavender and Shannon Stone – who eventually turned out to be the murderer, I sort of thought she might be, but was side-tracked after the question and answer session – so well done for putting me off the scent!


Ania Opoczynska was Rosie and then Hercule Pierogi – there were some nice comedy touches to the second portrayal, with a particularly good exit line after she was left on stage alone.  


Maia Knight played the duel roles of Chanel and Hormonia Jones – the second role of Hormonia was one she was able to get her teeth into more, and was a good creation.


Finally Shelby McGuire played Thelma and Fifi – both parts suited Shelby well, and she came across as a feisty young lady in both portrayals, very full-on performances which were a good contrast to the rest of the cast.


All in all an interesting afternoon, a little ragged round the edges, but the cast did well with a different type of production,and showed enthusiasm and energy. I applaud the Society for using many different types of production for their youth group to expose them to a wide scope of show styles.


On the day we attended we were treated to a very nice afternoon tea in the interval, provided by Veronica Thompson (who always does a sterling job with catering), and served by her team.  Very nice, which helped to make it a good experience.



















Hemel Hempstead Theatre Company - youth group

“MURDER ON THE ORIENTAL RUG”

review date: 29th Mar 2015  

Boxmoor Playhouse

Director:  Rachel Parkins

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