20-25 June 2016
Reviewed by Clair Bellamy
On Monday 20th June I attended a performance of, Rehearsal for Murder, at Milton Keynes Theatre. Bill Kenwright and The Classic Thriller Theatre Company, previously known as the Agatha Christie Theatre Company, produced the play and I had only heard good things about them so was excited to attend.
The play is, as you might expect, a murder mystery set in a London theatre. It tells the story of script and playwright Alex Dennison and his need to solve the mystery of the apparent suicide of his fiancé twelve months earlier (although he suspects murder rather than suicide). He pulls together the cast from the show they were involved in the previous year, and convinces them to read his new scripts, each portraying possibilities of what could have happened the night of his fiancé’s death, until he gets to the truth.
The cast were a group of well-known actors from theatre, films and television, notably Gary Mavers (plays Lloyd Andrews the Director) from Peak Practice and Emmerdale, Alex Ferns (plays Alex Dennison the Playwright) from EastEnders, Susie Amy (plays Monica Welles the fiancé of Alex and leading lady) from Footballers Wives and Anita Harris (plays Bella Lamb the Producer) from Carry on films, multiple theatre performances and her long standing music career. Every member of the cast was amazingly talented and portrayed their part to perfection.
The script was brilliantly crafted and left me guessing right to the end, it truly kept you focussed and intrigued.
The single set was very simple to look at, but I would guess very difficult for backstage crew to get just right, and arranged like the backstage of a theatre. It was very cleverly used to add to the mystery and show the background of each story.
The whole production team, both cast and crew seemed polished and at ease with everything they did.
Milton Keynes Theatre was, as always, very welcoming and staff were friendly and helpful. They should be congratulated on securing such a good production.
If you get the chance to go and see Rehearsal for Murder I would definitely recommend it.
Tickets cost from £22.40 to £37.90 (plus £2.85 transaction fee).
Rehearsal for Murder is at Milton Keynes Theatre until 25 June 2016. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 0844 8717652.
Milton Keynes Theatre, 500 Marlborough Gate, Milton Keynes, Bucks, MK9 3NZ