In classic murder mystery style, the accuser and his accused are brought together under one roof, in this case a deserted West End theatre.
Playwright Alex Dennison (Robert Daws) has gathered a cast for a reading of his latest work, about the murder of a famous actress, which, as it unfolds, bears an uncanny resemblance to events exactly a year previously, in the same venue, when his wife to be, film star Monica Welles (Amy Robbins) made her stage debut with the same actors in his latest comedy.
Something was troubling her, the reviews were mixed and hours later she was dead. Suicide said the police, but Dennison had other ideas and he was going to prove foul play.
The fateful night is played very cleverly in flashback which can’t be easy on stage before the cast run through their scenes, each one supposedly flushing out a motive for the murder. Fingers are pointed, accusations made, alibis questioned and voices raised as tensions rise.
However all is not as it seems, and there are plenty of twists and turns before the truth comes out.
Daws is excellent as the heartbroken accuser in chief. As he tries to convince everyone a murder had been committed and he is the focal point of the whole piece and holds things together well.
Robbins is very convincing as the leading lady who pulls no punches it appears as she gives her leading man David (Robert Duncan) quite a whack across the face.
Rehearsal For Murder was written by the creators of TV’s Murder, She Wrote It is light, full of false leads, with humour, via oneliners from the mouth of producer Bella Lamb (Susan Penhaligon), and the odd light hearted swipe at the theatre world.
The set is great, and well lit at key moments, and the eerie music as matters get serious, adds beautifully to the atmosphere.
Carefully thought out and catching the audience off guard, you could see the audience taking back the guesses of ‘who done it’ that they had whispered to their partners. You really won’t see it coming.
Very well orchestrated and with a brilliant small cast who bounce off of each other, Rehearsal for Murder is a must see
Tickets are now on sale and are available from The Regent Theatre Box Office, by calling 0844 871 7649 or visiting www.atgtickets.com/stoke