ACT Theatre Reviews 2021-2022

THE LAST DROP – A MURDER MYSTERY Written and directed by Vanessa Randall North Manchester A.O. & D.S. The members of the audience were all to become amateur detectives and on arrival, they were handed a table plan. At your allotted table there were instructions on how the evening was to unfold. First of all, you had to title yourselves with a team name and then there were to be two questionnaires linked with the characters who would be visiting your table to answer questions about the events that had been acted out. In the interval delicious food was served: congratulations to David Gordon and Family for the catering. The front of house MMAODS members must also be congratulated for working so hard to make the evening one that will be remembered. There was an open stage set out as the lounge of the Inn. As we were not in a theatre, lighting and sound was basic, but did its job effectively. Props and set dressing added to the 1959 ambiance with the costumes indicating the era. The characters were on a steam train to Edinburgh. Due to a severe snowstorm, the train had to stop at Moorfield. The passengers had to disembark and find refuge in the isolated inn, “The Last Drop”, where murder and mayhem would take place”. Aggie and Bert Pike are the proprietors of the Inn, Stella O’Reilly really knows her way around a script. As the Inn landlady, Stella presented a very rounded, believable character. Cantankerous God fearing Bert was in the capable hands of David Gordon. They had one guest, Father Brown. This character was a lynchpin for the other travellers staying at the inn, and in the final scene, narrated the reveal. Jon Dawson showed authority to his congregation of Inn guests and steered the plot through all its twists and turns. Enter the six stranded passengers. Leading the way, Chester Oldcastle who turned out to be a private detective, was credibly played by Nick