WHEN I was training to be a reporter, I spent a day in Sheffield Crown Court, watching the wheels of justice in motion.
It was a completely absorbing experience and I was transfixed by what was going on before me. So it is with Altrincham Little Theatre's latest production, from the queen of suspense, Agatha Christie.
It certainly keeps you guessing right to the end. Did Leonard Vole (Anthony Morris) murder a wealthy spinster as a stepping stone to the good life? The play also contains a very clever twist at the end which you won't see coming. Ideal theatrical fare for ALT's intimate auditorium which so often feels like an emotional pressure cooker.
What also struck me was how fresh the play feels, which must be a by product of John Chidgey's skill as a director. I never felt like I was watching a group of actors blowing the dust off some sort of theatrical relic.
Performances are exemplary, particularly from Morris as the beleaguered man in the dock. He does a very nice line in desperation and I also really liked Vicky Siddle as Vole's mysterious and enigmatic partner, Romaine. Aside from being an accomplished actress, no mean feat for a relative newcomer to the amateur stage, she also has quite a stage presence. David Reynolds as Vole's barrister Sir Wilfred Robarts, completes the "roll call" of noteworthy performances.
Nobody writes this sort of stuff quite like Christie and it will be a long time before it goes out of fashion. Her influence on writers of today, writers of a similar ilk, is profound. Enjoy.
* Until March 25. The box office is on 0161 928 1113. Star rating - ****