Murder In Play
by Simon Brett
Published by Samuel French
Performed; 17th-19th March 2016
Cast (in order of appearance)
Renee Savage / Lady Dorothy Cholmondley – Sheila Telfer
Tim Fermor / Major Rodney Pirbright – Richard Mace
Ginette Vincent / Lady Virginia Cholmondley – Sarah Merrifield
Christa d’Amato / Mrs Puttock – Kathryn Wilkinson
Sophie Lawton / Triggs – Kim Tomlin
Harrison Bracewell / Mr. Papadopoulos – Rob Duffett
Boris Smolensky – Andrew Lamb
Pat – Faye Henderson
Producer – Andrea Varnavides
Stage Manager – Brian Marston
Technical Supervisor – John Burgess
Wardrobe – Gill Crampton Smith
Props – Terry Robson
Make-Up – Sheila Telfer (and cast)
Prompt – Andrea Varnavides
Scenic Artist – Richard Stead
Decor – Jill Marston
Stage Crew – Alistair Babbington, Mick Brown, John Burgess, Brian Marston, Michael Payne, Richard Stead and Charis Varnavides
Licensee – John Burgess
House Management – Myfanwy Reid and team
Box Office – Vivien Hughes
Publicity – Andrea Varnavides and Charis Varnavides
Refreshments – Anna Sweeney and team
Sweetshop – Lorna McGarvey and Jill Marston
Photographer – Charis Varnavides
RoCo wishes to thank all those members and friends who helped to make this production possible.

Boris Smolensky’s budget repertory production of 'Murder at Priorswell Manor' is looking decidedly shaky. The cast are more interested in their egos than the play and life soon imitates art when Boris’s wife, Renee, is murdered on stage. Simon Brett’s hilarious text, a worthy companion to his Charles Paris theatrical thriller novels, ruthlessly satirizes the politics of the inept company and the numerous red herrings keep the audience guessing until the final moments of the play.

by Sandra Griffiths
I am keen on murder mysteries, eagerly anticipating being able to work out ‘whodunit’, although always failing to do so. Murder In Play was no exception. It was not always easy to keep track of who was who, given that we were dealing with actors playing actors and/or changing characters or roles. Despite this, the efforts of the cast were noteworthy for their individual contributions. While the suitably snooty Renee (Sheila Telfer) provided for much amusement, she was the character we might least have expected to be the victim. Her points-scoring exchanges with Christa (Kathryn Wilkinson) gave further reason for us to chuckle.
As for identifying the perpetrator, we might have been forgiven for imagining we had cracked it at various points, only to find shortly afterwards that we were wrong. Rob Duffett gave a superb portrayal of a pain in the neck (or elsewhere), in turn playing a character in the ‘play within a play’ whose status as a gentlemen was questionable. And just how did Andrew Lamb (as Boris) manage to keep up his well-practised and distinctive accent consistently throughout?!
Sarah Merrifield offered a convincing performance as ‘stupid’ Ginette – appropriately gullible – while Richard Mace admirably took on the role of the Major. Kim Tomlin (as the observant Sophie) helped to put the pieces of the murder jigsaw together towards the end, highlighting and dismissing the conclusions that the audience had perhaps jumped to earlier. I wonder how many spectators had even thought of suspecting Pat (Faye Henderson)? Her nonchalance and apparent innocence – partly conveyed by her pretence at not being able to act – might have had everyone fooled.
A great deal of work had obviously gone into this production, and I trust I speak for the audience when I propose a big thank you to Andrea Varnavides, the cast, and the stage and theatre managers for three exciting, amusing and entertaining RoCo evenings!

Photo Gallery
Browse a collection of photos from the dress rehearsal for Murder In Play!
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