Reviewed by Cate Norris
I love a good thriller, a chilling, puzzling murder mystery to really get the cogs going. I expected that The Case of the Frightened Lady would provide some real spooktastic stuff, but sadly there wasn’t a frightened lady insight.
Following a fancy dress party that ended in murder, police officers were called to the scene of the crime-the grand Lebanon home to carry out some enquiries. Throughout the course of their investigation more murders and attempted murders happened, and it seemed that everyone was hiding something but only too happy to share others’ secrets.
With an intriguing plot and a line-up of more TV talent than you could shake a stick at, including Coronation Street’s Gary O’Brien, Not Going Out’s Deborah Grant, Only Fools and Horses’ Denis Lill, Harry Potter’s Oliver Phelps, Coronation Street’s Philip Lowrie, Skins’ April Pearson, Soldier Soldier’s Ben Nealon and Jesus Christ Superstar’s Glenn Carter this should have been a very promising concoction. However, all of the action (or lack thereof) took place in the hall of the Lebanon home. All murders, assaults etc were implied with a scream or darkness which meant that we (the audience) didn’t get to see anything or observe the superb acting ability before us. The entire show was centred on the cast entering stage to say their line and exiting. There is only so much that any actor can do with that direction and it was a shame that opportunities were missed with such a vast and talented cast. The disappointing result unfortunately was a dialogue heavy, slow paced performance which was a little boring at times.
A murder mystery it is, and interval fun can be had discussing ‘whodunit’ but for good theatre that is based on bringing a story to life, I really wouldn’t recommend it, it’s like having a story read to you. As for a thriller, it’s completely out of touch with what an audience needs. All in all, it’s a thriller that’s lost its thrill so really it’s just an er.
Tickets cost from £21.75 to £33.75 (booking fees may apply).
The Case of the Frightened Lady is at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry from 12-16 June 2018, for more information or to book tickets visit www.belgrade.co.uk or call the box office on 02476 55 3055.
Belgrade Theatre, Belgrade Square, Coventry, CV1 1GS | 02476 55 3055