After 10 successful years with the Agatha Christie Theatre Company, Bill Kenwright has announced The Classic Thriller Theatre Company and their first endeavour – Rehearsal for Murder.
Written by Richard Levinson and William Link, the award-winning writers of Murder, She Wrote, Rehearsal for Murder is bursting with intrigue, scandal and suspense – the perfect set of ingredients for a classic murder mystery.
Playwright Alex Dennison (Robert Daws) is left heartbroken after his fiancée and leading lady Monica Welles (Amy Robbins) is found dead after an apparent suicide on the opening night of her West End stage debut. On the exact one year anniversary of her death, Alex assembles the cast and crew who were present at Monica’s after show party on the night of her death. After gathering in the same Theatre for a reading of Alex’s new play, the group soon realise that the play bears a striking resemblance to real encounters they have each had with Monica. It soon becomes clear that Alex believes Monica was murdered by one of them and that he is on a one-man mission to uncover her killer…
Real life husband and wife duo Robert Daws (best known for his role as Dr Gordon Ormerod in The Royal) and Amy Robbins (also known for her role as Dr Jill Weatherill in The Royal) make the perfect leading pair. Daws is incredible as he recites the entire story and remains on stage the whole time, which is no mean feat as he commands the events of each scene. Amy Robbins is sophisticated and sleek in her portrayal of the glamorous Monica Welles, who appears in flash back throughout the play.
The night of the murder is told in flashback and has been cleverly directed by Roy Marsden to allow the audience to keep up with the story as, at times, both the past and the present are depicted on stage at the same time. The set, an old West End theatre, is simple yet effective with the majority of the action taking place in the same spot.
As with any good whodunit the play is full of twists and turns, to which the audience are given a hint about being led in one direction before then throwing them in another.
The quality in this 11 man cast is undoubtedly high, with faces that you’ll recognised from TV and many other theatre credits bringing some serious quality to the production.
If you’re a theatre-goer that prefers a more serious, intelligent play then this thrilling murder mystery is undoubtedly the one for you.