REVIEW: Murdered to Death at The Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage
PUBLISHED: 15:21 16 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:20 20 February 2013
Clare Bourke reviews comic masterpiece Murdered to Death in Stevenage.
REVIEW: Murdered to Death
The Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage, June 15-19
Review by Clare Bourke
WHEN I sat down to watch Murdered to Death at the Gordon Craig Theatre last night I did not expect it to be so funny. It was, in fact, hilarious and one of the most enjoyable shows I have seen in a long time.
Not only was it crammed full of well-known actors doing what they do best, it was a continual play on words, full of clichs and incredibly well-scripted.
In the first five minutes of opening night I must admit I was not sure what I had let myself in for as the play seemed to be about to bumble along. But then the actors suddenly got into their stride and from that moment on it went like clockwork and two hours whizzed by.
Murdered to Death is the latest play from Ian Dickens Productions. Written by Peter Gordon, it stars Sandra Dickinson, Michelle Hardwick, Victor Spinetti, Chloe Newsome, Roland Oliver, Elizabeth Williams, Darren Machin and Erin Geraghty, all well seasoned actors. But the ultimate star of the show was Norman Pace (of comedy duo Hale and Pace) who proved to have excellent comic timing and a surprising athleticism as the police inspector, very well supported by his more intelligent constable sidekick Christopher Elderwood.
This wonderfully funny play pokes fun at all the best Agatha Christie traditions whilst keeping the audience on their toes with its murder mystery storyline.
Set in a country manor house in the 1930s the cast of characters include a bumbling butler, an incompetent police inspector, a colonel with a fondness for sherry, a heavily accented Frenchman, a high society debutante, and a nosy busybody and local sleuth with the knack of attracting murder wherever she goes.
With this mix of characters there were some real doubled-up with laughter moments while the elaborate storyline really did keep us guessing right to the end.
I would highly recommend this show to anyone.
Murdered to Death runs until Saturday June 19. The play starts at 7.45pm, with matinees on Thursday and Saturday at 2.30pm. For tickets, which start from 16, call the Box Office on 01438 363200 or visit www.gordon-craig.co.uk
Why not enjoy dinner before the show?
The Gordon Craig Theatres restaurant has recently been rebranded to Ovations Restaurant and is offering a special offer for theatre-goers of a two-course dinner for 8.95.
My theatre companion and I were tempted to try this before watching this particular show and took our seats in the light and airy restaurant at 6.30pm, prior to the 7.45pm show.
For my main course I chose the garlic roasted chicken with butternut squash mash and fresh seasonal vegetables. The chicken was very well cooked and seasoned and the mash delicious. The vegetables were a little underdone for my taste but complimented the rest of the meal well. My companion opted for the local butchers pork and leek sausages with colcannon potatoes, yorkshire pudding and onion and bacon gravy. The sausages were very tasty and well complemented by the colcannon and two Yorkshire puddings with a very generous helping of gravy.
For dessert I picked the mango and passion fruit fool served in a dark chocolate case which was a very refreshing end to my meal while my companion opted for the unusual but very enjoyable beetroot and chocolate brownie served with pistachio ice cream, which came as a very large portion.
The service was prompt, enabling us to enjoy two courses without having to rush to get to our theatre seats on time and for 8.95 each the meal proved to be very good value for money.
You can pre-book a table by calling the box office on 01438 363200.