Inspector Drake and the Perfekt Crime

NODA Said:

22nd APRIL 2016

This is a talented theatre group that neither needs nor demands a big theatre environment or lavish venue to deliver thoroughly enjoyable and quality entertainment. Relying as it often does also on its members as first rate set designers and builders to bring a village hall stage to life. Also equally important an appreciative local audience.

Initially there was a plan to put on a new play “The Merry Wives of Alvechurch” which tied in nicely with the Bards 400th celebrations. A number of reasons prevented that happening so this David Tristram play was selected as an alternative. Not only for its comedy content but also to provide an opportunity for a group member to ease her way into directing with a manageable cast of five. A task that was extremely well executed and doubtless with much laughter during rehearsals. . If only we could have seen the outtakes!!

The script is one which requires the cast to keep straight faces weaving as it does through a storyline full of silly lines though very funny for all that. There is sense of madness and the bizarre as all the characters deliver lines and antics full of double entendres, mistaken identity and cheap jokes. Comedy to work well needs to be fresh and at times and as a purely personal view the concept became a little repetitive. This did not however detract from excellent performances from the cast

Inspector Drake was played perfectly by Chris Davies. His mannerisms and physical comedy could not be faulted. The character needs though a wonderful Sgt Plod and Alan Clarke fitted the bill admirably. His stupidity at misunderstanding simple instructions was brilliant. As the inspector and his sidekick this dimly matched pair created a plot of total incompetence, using props and items on a well-constructed set with excellent timing. “Dr Short” was skilfully played by Martyn Read. Again a character with some very funny lines delivered superbly well. Susan Resuggan and Sarah Batstone in their respective roles of Sabrina and Miss Short gave solid comedic and accomplished support to complete this highly talented cast

The set, props and a wardrobe of well-fitting costumes in keeping with the 1970,s in which the comedy is set enhanced the whole production with which all involved can feel immensely proud.

Thank you Alvechurch for a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining evening

Ian G Cox