REVIEW: Rehearsal for a Murder @ The Opera House, Manchester

bkl-rehmurd-0042aFrom the pens of the writers of the American TV show, Murder She Wrote, comes a show at the Opera House which promises mystery and suspense.

Unfortunately this production, staged by the Classic Thriller Theatre Company falls way short of that promise. For Classic read dated and staid and as for thrilling – there is is more excitement in an England World Cup qualifier.

The play is mostly set in a theatre in 1989, a year  after the apparent suicide of  leading lady  Monica Welles (Susie Amy) following a flop. Her fiance, writer Alex Dennison (Alex Fearns), gathers the cast of together to rehearse what appears to be a new play  before revealing the real reason for the reunion – to find out who killed Monica.

The problem is that pace of the production is so slow and characters so badly drawn, that by the time we get to that point, I couldn’t care less who killed her.

Things pick up after the interval but not enough to keep me at the end of my seat. In fact I was so bored I was tempted to get up and confess to the murder myself to put everyone out of their misery. Then comes the big twist, which is quite interesting but not enough to give the show anything above the four out of ten mark.bkl-rehmurd-0940a

As far as the performances were concerned, they weren’t bad and the actors tried their best to make a pretty awful script look good.

The only saving grace was the chance to see the iconic Anita Harris  on stage looking amazing.

Runs till Saturday October 15.

Dave Toomer






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