Not Dead Enough theatre review: Its because he loves you with deadly consequences.

Not Dead Enough theatre review by Katey Thompson, February 2017.

Not Dead Enough theatre review

Peter James is a well known murder mystery author who is great at a writing an intriguing, intense who-dunnit that keeps the reader guessing from start to finish.  In this play the suspense is slow to build and that suspense and tension remained throughout the entire production.

The play opens with the murder of the socialite Katie Bishop; could her husband Brian Bishop who was 60 miles away at the time be responsible? It is the task of DS Roy Grace to determine if he has the correct suspect.  Shane Ritchie is a credible detective quite different in persona to the roles he is normally associated with.  DS Grace’s girlfriend is the mortician Cleo Morley, played by Laura Whitmore, who brings her presentation skills into the limelight, with good effect for a debut stage performance.  Although the performance did lack a true romantic connection, perhaps due to the compressed time for character development, the passions and tensions were realistically brought to life as the characters dealt with the unfolding sinister events. Stephen Billington is very duplicitous as the husband and suspect, Brian Bishop, who appears to have been keeping more than a few secrets.

The play occurs between the mortuary, interview room and police station, with the set cleverly split across the stage with lighting used to focus your attention on the relevant scene.  Several of them are depicted with limited props where the action moves out of the central locations, with the final climax cleverly restructured away from the original novel, allowing the makers flexing their editorial muscle to deliver a compelling, claustrophobic stage play.

The play is full of unexpected twists as the characters divulge their secrets, and Peter James keeps the audience guessing right until the end. The cast were a well balanced team who complemented each other’s performances throughout, and despite the slow start, the intensity was maintained with flashes of humour present throughout the play. Perhaps it is time for a modern day Agatha Christie to come to the fore, a position that Peter James has demonstrated he is ready to fill.  This an evening to be highly recommended to everyone who enjoys this genre of theatre.

Not Dead Enough theatre review by Katey Thompson, February 2017.

Not Dead Enough is running at the New Victoria Theatre in Woking until 11th February, 2017.

Not Dead Enough