Silchester Players present Murdered to DeathBy Angela Solomons
October 20, 2011
In true Agatha Christie style, Murdered To Death is set in a country house in the 1930s.
The spoof, written by Peter Gordon and performed by the Silchester Players, opens with Mildred Bagshot (Jill Gillett) preparing to welcome her guests to a weekend house party.
Also present are her niece, the mousy and rather put upon Dorothy Foxton (Sarah Oliver), and Bunting (John Coffin), the rather irascible butler. Also in the cast, Tony Oliver played the boring Colonel Craddock – full of tales about his time in “Ind-i-ah” and rather too fond of the sherry.
His wife Margaret, played by Mari Fleming, aptly portrayed how their long marriage was just a sham.
The two remaining members of the house party were Elizabeth Hartley-Trumpington (Tamasin Cook) and Pierre Marceau (Brian Gillett).
Joan Maple (Janet Taylor), an old lady from the village with a rather unfortunate reputation as an amateur sleuth, invites herself to dinner.
As the play progresses, we learn that all of the characters are not what they seem and have secrets to hide.
When Mildred is shot, it appears that more than one character has a motive for wishing her dead.
The scene is set for the arrival of the police – the aptly named Inspector Pratt (Alan Moorhouse) and Constable Tompkins (Clive Solomons). Will they be able to solve the murder?
Brian Gillett was most convincing as the smooth-talking Frenchman Marceau with his oily Gallic charm, while Tamasin Cook, in her first role with the Players, handled the tricky part with confidence.
Stand out performances included John Coffin in the role of Bunting, the surly butler with a drink problem. His performance was pitch perfect throughout.
Similarly, Janet Taylor, who played Miss Joan Maple, was a triumph in the role of the amateur sleuth who is much more aware of events than the incompetent police inspector.
Lastly, Alan Moorhouse’s role as the utterly clueless Inspector Pratt was a great hit with the audience and, as Constable Tompkins, Clive Solomons was a good foil for the numerous gaffes made by the inspector.
A most enjoyable evening
There’s still a chance to finid out whodunit as the Players will perform the show again on Friday and Saturday. Tickets cost £7 or £5 for concessions.