Reviewed by Lesley Reed
It was hot on the opening night of St Jude’s Players’ production of Alan Ayckbourn’s comedy thriller It Could Be Any One of Us, directed by Erik Strauts. Despite a valiant effort by the cast though, this reviewer was left feeling decidedly cold about the play.
In a remote and storm-swept country house, a family of wannabe artists is haggling over a bequest, until murder ensues.
Described as a spoof on the Agatha Christie form of murder mystery, the play is essentially overwritten, slow in pace and doesn’t contain enough of the right sort of comedy to succeed as a sendup.
The cast does well despite the laboured script. Les Zetlein is self-obsessed and pompous as Mortimer and Anita Canala is strong as his sister, Jocelyn. Jarrod Chave is good as the manic brother Brinton, but additional light and shade would make the character more unpredictable. Jack Robins is excellent as Norris Honeywell.
The two standouts are Bernadette Abberdan as Wendy and Georgia Bolton as Jocelyn’s teenage daughter Amy. Their vanity case scene is almost Monty Pythonesque and struck me as being the scene closest to the probable intention of the playwright in delivering parody.
Costumes are perfect and Normajeane Ohlsson’s atmospheric set is wonderful, enhanced by excellent sound and lighting.
In this production, only Ayckbourn’s play lets St Jude’s Players down.