A very interesting comedy/murder mystery by Alan Ayckbourn this play ticks all the boxes and keeps the audience guessing throughout.When the head of the dysfunctional, artistic Chalke family decides to make a will and leave the family fortune to an outsider whom he invites to come and visit, his plan is met with outrage from everyone else.
Directed by Maggie Smith however the pace was very slow and a lot of the comedy was underplayed. The family characters, Paul Trueack as Mortimer Chalke, Deb Kellaway as Jocelyn Polegate and Clint Mullins as Brinton Chalke didnít really make the most of their supposed ëzaninessí and could all have been more manic.
In contrast to this, Bianca Smith played the surly teenager Amy Polegate beautifully with lots of attitude which was both effective and amusing.
Alex Ling as the unsuccessful private eye Norris Honeywell was excellent if a little ponderous in his investigations.
Sue Cherry brightened up the play considerably with her lively, cheerful portrayal of Wendy Windwood the lucky recipient to be.
The set designed by Janet Jauncey looked the part very dark, old and just a bit gothic but was a little crowded at times. All in all this was quite an enjoyable production with the audience indulging in a few good laughs.