ACT Theatre Reviews 2021-2022

AGATHA CRUSTY & THE PANTOMIME MURDERS by Derek Webb Director: Doreen Cockshott H.A.T.S Derek Webb’s cerebrated character crime writer, Agatha Crusty arrives in Giglington a week early for the Giglington Book Festival. She becomes involved with the Giglington Players who are preparing to present their pantomime “Peter Pan”. There are several murders within the cast but the show must go on and the murderer must be exposed! This play is a true British comedy “who-dunnit” with an array of characters that all have something to hide. The action takes place on the stage of the village hall that is being set for the pantomime. The empty stage, with plain flats for screening, and the introduction of pantomime flats to aid scenes, and a clever pirate ship were enough for the story telling. The costumes were present day, complete with accessories, to help define the specific character. The lighting and sound all assisted the unfolding murderous events. We first meet the suspiciously nervous stage manager who is hiding something. Alan Wilde, as the S.M., convincingly gave the audience someone to suspect until he was found suffocated in the prop’s cupboard. He is not the first corpse among this happy band of thespians. Whilst rehearsing the flying rig, Peter Pan (Cath Williams) fell to her death. The police believe it was an accident, as was the death of Jack Bradley (Niven Ganner) who fell off a ladder adjusting a stage light. The pantomime cast agreed that the production must go on: their director Jessica Price held the players together despite an attempt on her own life. Sarah Eckersley brought everything to this role making sure laughter and mystery were equally served.