A MURDER IS ANNOUNCED
Guildonian Players at the Little Theatre Harold Wood
“Nothing happens here; it's another world.” But they're overlooking the presence of Miss Jane Marple, taking the waters in this neck of the woods. Murder and mystery dog her footsteps through Middle England, and within minutes the Chipping Cleghorn Gazette serves notice of death on Little Paddocks, the lovely home of Letitia [a stylish Susie Faulkner] and her dowdy, muddled companion Bunny [Margaret Corry]. It's Friday 13th, both on stage and off, which adds to the sense of doom.
Vernon Keeble-Watson's production has a good old-fashioned set, and some tense, chilling moments – the clock chiming six-thirty – and is enlivened by some nice character work from the ensemble.
The refugee housekeeper [a consistently entertaining Emma Stacey], the dyspeptic Inspector Craddock [Tony Szalai] and of course the clever old busybody herself [portrayed with charming subtlety by Carole Brand] keep us entertained through the convoluted plot. Ian Russell makes a nicely weird Edmund Swettenham, the cynical young writer who's taking notes for his own whodunnit. But too often actors are relying on the prompt to set them right – surely that's Miss Marple's job …