Peter and Ross

Gentle persuasion as Gary Turner as Peter points a gun at Brian Capron's Ross

Strictly Murder

Malvern Theatres


It's very much a family affair for this thriller set ahead of the Second World War in France.

It was written by Brian Clemens, a script writer for The Avengers and Diagnosis: Murder to name a few, and directed by his son Samuel Clemens.

Samuel describes this as one of his favourites among his father's many plays, and by the finale, you can see why.

It stutters a bit before you get there though as it's a play of extremes. The plot ranges from being tediously slow with no dialogue or blasts of action and twists that leave you simply stunned.

Talking Scarlet, responsible for this production, was also behind last year's show Who Killed Santa Claus?, which had a clever twist and fine cast. This play is very much in the same vein.

Set in 1939, a radio blares out pre-war declarations in the news and 1930's tunes as the audience takes their seats. It sets the scene for the tensions in Provence where British couple Peter and Suzy live in a remote cottage worrying about an impending war, double agents and where their relationship is going.

Their quite dull life is suddenly broken by the arrival of unexpected visitor Ross, who recognises Peter from his previous existence as someone else.

The arrival of Ross lifts the show immensely and that's partly due to the stage presence of actor Brian Capron, famous for playing serial killer Richard in Coronation Street.

Capron brings a welcome edge to this caper, that is accompanied by a dramatic soundtrack of menacing music to add a chill to the proceedings.

The small cast all play their roles well, particularly Gary Turner as Peter, who you never know whether to trust or not. Emmerdale fans may remember Turner for playing chef Carlos Diaz in the soap opera.

The Second Act of this two hour show picks up the pace a little and bombards the audience with twists that make up for the show's slow moments early on.

Looking back, the clues were all there, but subtle enough to leave the finale as an unpredictable surprise All in all, it's an enjoyable thriller that will keep you guessing.to24-06-17

Alison Brinkworth


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