TONY Wendice is a man with murder on his mind in this flawless revival of Frederick Knott’s classic thriller currently playing at Altrincham Little Theatre.
Married to a wealthy socialite, Tony starts plotting his wife;s murder after he discovers she’s been having an affair with the nice crime writer Max Halliday who certainly doesn’t have to go far for inspitation for his next book in this hugely watchable stage version of the 50’s flick.
But the scheming Tony has a formidable opponent in Chief Inspector Hubbard and we systematically see him unpick his cover story. Hubbard, perfectly played by Charlie Cook, is a copper whose disarmingly old school, complete with a raincoat and a trilby hat.
But it’s a tribute to the brilliance of Knott’s largely understated script and a strong and believable performance from Charlie Welsh that you find yourself caring for Tony’s wife and hope she emerges from all the on stage skulduggery unscathed. As ab actress, Charlie is maturing very nicely.
Garth Jones, a familiar face in the director’s chair on Trafford’s amateur stage for many years, does his reputation no harm with a production pitched just right. I also liked the way he uses music to ratchet up the tension in a venue that’s just perfect for the thriller genre.
I certainly hope this cast gets the chance to work together again, for the simple reason they’re seriously talented. As Tony I found Gary Woodhall creepy and intimidating, with ALT’s Scottish import Ewan Henderson as the bright and engaging Halliday providing much needed light to Tony’s dark. Alex Clarke certainly has the air of a military man Captain Lesgate,
In fact this production is so good I want to see the film. Highly recommended, a terrific watch.
Until January 26. The box office is on 0161 928 1113. Star rating - ****