Stars explained: * A production of no real merit with failings in all areas. ** A production showing evidence of not enough time or effort, or even talent, and which never breathes any real life into the piece – or a show lumbered with a terrible script. *** A good enjoyable show which might have some small flaws but has largely achieved what it set out to do.**** An excellent show which shows a great deal of work and stage craft with no noticeable or major flaws.***** A four star show which has found that extra bit of magic which lifts theatre to another plane.
Half stars fall between the ratings


Robert, played by Stuart Wishart, dragooned into the murder plot by brother David, played by Richard Taylor


The Nonentities

The Rose Theatre, Kidderminster


The Nonentities continue their winter season with the first play of 2022 and it’s a lively comedy thriller, Twist.

Twist writer Miles Tredinnick seems to have had more than a few twists in his own career. One time frontman of the new wave band London, he has also at other times been a photo journalist, writer of countless TV scripts, and even some Disney cartoon series. Turning his hand to writing for the stage in the 1980s, he went on to write Twist in 1990.

The story centres on the husband of a famous TV soap actress and a murderous plot to end her run which goes wrong but then goes right and then goes wrong again, hence the title of the play Twist. The couple live in their London flat but no one and nothing is what it seems to be and their straightforward lives and everyone connect to them, are far from what they appear. 

David Woods played by Richard Taylor is a lawyer yet also an unsuccessful part time crime writer. He lives in the shadow of his famous and very successful wife and TV star Sarah Seeton, played by Tori Wakeman. 

The couple have a somewhat acerbic relationship, which is the foundation of much of the early comedy in the play. A plot between Woods and his actor brother Robert, played by Stuart Wishart, to kill off wife Sarah, takes on a new possibility when an incident with the misplaced luggage of a Miss Hannah Van Lee, played by Beth Grainger, opens new possibilities for the deed to be done.

twisted couple

David and wife Sarah played by Tori Wakeman

Blackmailed into being an accomplice, Miss Van Lee assists Woods in the act. However nothing goes to plan and the final undoing comes in the unlikely form of landlady Mrs Beck played by Sue Hunt and the intrepid Inspector Root, played by David Wilkes.

Whilst the bulk of the action falls to the very experienced Richard Taylor in the central role of David Woods, this is a real ensemble piece where everyone gets an opportunity to shine in their own performances.  The timing is slick and the action is well thought out and directed by David Wakeman.

There are some great special effects that add to the excitement and a possessed fireplace that seems to have a key role in the several of the on stage shoot outs. The fight choreography is well planned and although the exchanges are a shocking, the brutality is tamed by some light hearted humour.

There are the flimsiest reasons for revenge and murder in this play, the public humiliation of aggravated hair loss being one of them, but putting that aside it’s a well-crafted `hair raising ‘thriller.  

Thankfully attendance at local theatres seems to now be on the increase and whilst social distancing rules are still in place in a lesser form to assure the public, the support here is most welcome. So there’s no reason to not twist again and go see this absorbing action packed play.

All in all Twist is an enjoyable evening’s entertainment, beautifully acted and staged that contains more twists, cover-ups and surprises than a Conservative lockdown Christmas Party. To 29-01-22.   

Jeff Grant


The Rose

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