A Murder is Announced

Venue : Redditch Palace Theatre

Date : November 2007

Genre : Murder Mystery

Director

Tony Lacey

Director

Cast

Estelle Shutkever

Letitia Blacklock

Elizabeth Round

Julia Simmons

Beryl Linforth

Dora Bunner

Adam Lee

Patrick Simmons

Anne Cherry

Mitzi

Val Archer

Val Archer

Miss Jane Marple

Penny Simpkins

Phillipa Haymes

Sue George

Clara Swettenham

Simon Brown

Edmond Swettenham

Jason Trombley

Rudi Scherz

Martin Alderton

Inspector Craddock

Michael Bentley

Sergeant Mellors

Crew

Marcus Bridger

Stage Manager

Peter Round

Assistant Stage Manager

Mike Beamish

Properties

Paul Hughes

Back Stage Support

Joy Rodgers

Costume & Stage Dressing

John Nolan

Set Design

John Nolan

Set Construction

John Parkes

Set Construction

no profile image

Ken Wadhams

Set Construction

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Norman Nicholls

Set Construction

Paul Hughes

Poster and Programme

Abby Stonehall

Show photography

Crew

Marcus Bridger

Stage Manager

Peter Round

Assistant Stage Manager

Mike Beamish

Properties

Paul Hughes

Back Stage Support

Joy Rodgers

Costume & Stage Dressing

John Nolan

Set Design

John Nolan

Set Construction

John Parkes

Set Construction

Ken Wadhams

Set Construction

Norman Nicholls

Set Construction

Paul Hughes

Poster and Programme

Abby Stonehall

Show photography

Production Gallery

Reviews

Overview by Tony Lacey

A personal advertisement appears in the local newspaper on Friday 13th of October, announcing a murder is to take place at Little Paddocks that very evening at 6.30pm!

This is a mix of shock and surprise to Letty Blacklock, the owner of the house who gathers her nearest and dearest, some who believe it to be a hoax, others a conspiracy and some the first excitement to ever happen in the village of Chipping Cleghorn.

The evening arrives and Letty along with her niece and nephew, her lodger, her maid, her best friend and her nosey neighbour anxiously wait until 6pm, when indeed a murder occurs.

Miss Marple too is at the gathering, and before she solves the puzzle, both helped and hindered by the local constabulary, there is another murder, two major plot twists, various red herrings, a romance and the usual catching of the murderer almost red-handed. Nobody is who they seems, and everyone has a skeleton or two in their closet.

Miss Marple brings it all to a neat conclusion over a cup of tea and a piece of cake!


Review

(Val Lewis is a retired journalist and has reviewed many Wythall shows over the years and it is a great honour that Val has reviewed 'A Murder is Announced')

I thought the show was very good, and came up to my expectations over the years of a good evening out with Wythall Theatre Company. The set, as usual, looked very appropriate and had a lovely warm glow, and the cast had obviously worked hard to achieve a truly 'Agatha' type production as had the props department.

I had brought my daughter and thirteen year old grand-daughter and as this was Lucy's first experience of a period murder mystery play, I wasn't sure how she would react to it - she loved it, as did my daughter and myself. We all entered into the spirit of it.

In all the years that I reviewed WTC's plays, before I retired as a journalist, this definitely came up to their usual high standard.

I did have one small criticism, however, in that not all of the cast's costumes accurately reflected the fifties, but this is always a problem for theatre groups, and WTC is usually very good in that respect. Seeing the appeal for help in that area from Joy Rodgers in the Newsletter, I felt sorry I had recently cleared out to charity clothes that might have been of use to her in that and other productions. I won't do it again!

Congratulations to everyone on a good production, and it was great to come to a proper theatre again.

Val Lewis, WTC Website


(Pam is an very experienced in the dramatic arts and has kindly written a review for the Company).

Agatha Christie did not let her public down when she wrote " A Murder is Announced". The play has all the red herrings and dramatic and humorous moments that we have come to expect from the pen of such a popular writer.

The Wythall Theatre Company rose to the occaision and provided the audience with a most entertaining evening.

Every member of the uniformly strong cast played their part well. Estell Shutkever gave a stellar performace as Letitia Blacklock, the woman in whose home the murder takes place. Her eccentric friend Dora "Bunny" Bunner (Beryl Lindforth) and her emotional housekeeper Mitzi (Anne Cherry) both provided amusing moments in the drama.

It was good to see Val Archer as the inimtable Miss Marple and a pity that we did not see more of her.

The direction. by Tony Lacey, was excellent.

Pam Mills, WTC Website


What the audience said

"Congratulations on a very enjoyable production, came to see it on Saturday and had a great time. I thought the production was very slick and a credit to everyone in the team, looking forward to the next production." SC

"Just a note to say how enjoyable we found A Murder is Announced. Congratulations to everyone who was involved." BJ

"What a result! Congratulations to one and all for an excellent production which I thoroughly enjoyed." DW

Our Audience, Comments and Social Media


Editorial

WYTHALL Theatre Company's next production is classic Miss Marple whodunit A Murder is Announced, on at the town's Palace Theatre from November 7-10.

A personal advertisement appears in the local newspaper on Friday, October 13, announcing a murder is to take place at Little Paddocks that very evening at 6.30pm!

This shocks and surprises Letty Blacklock, the owner of the house, who gathers her nearest and dearest, some who believe it to be a hoax, others a conspiracy and some the first excitement to ever happen in the village of Chipping Cleghorn.

The evening arrives and Letty, along with her niece and nephew, her lodger, her maid, her best friend and her nosey neighbour, anxiously wait until 6.30pm, when indeed a murder does occur.

Miss Marple too is at the gathering, and as she starts to untangle the web of deceit, there is another murder, two major plot twists, various red herrings and a romance to contend with.

Tickets costing £9 with concessions are available from www.redditchpalacetheatre.co.uk or from the box office on 01527 65203

Andrew Powell, Redditch Standard