Venue : Redditch Palace Theatre
Date : May 1993
Genre : Murder Mystery
Assistant Stage Manager
Forgettable plot superb production
ON the 143 bus to Bromsgrove sits Dilbert 'Scoop' Filkins, cub reporter on the Bromsgrove Planet.
Cuddled up to him is Kylie-Marie, Dilbert's girlfriend and, if he can wangle it, soon-to-be 'old flame.' They've just seen the Wythall Theatre Company's excellent produc-tion of Ira Levin's thriller, Deathtrap, at the Palace Theatre, Redditch.
Kylie-Marie snuggles a little closer. "Ere, Dilbert," she coos, heralding another tiresome question about the play's convoluted plot. "Yes, Kylie-Marie?" answers Filkins, turning to look out of the window and seeing only his own pained expression reflected m the darkened glass. He strokes the pork-pie hat with the press card stuck in the band, which sits on his lap, and summons up his last molecule of patience.
"...When the old play writer", continues the baffled girl, "strangles the young play writer"...she pauses to let mind catch up with mouth..."why does the young one come back from the dead and hit the old one over the head with a plastic log?"
Dilbert, not entirely dear on this point himself, creates a diversion. He springs to his feet, grasps a hanging-strap, and sways about heroically. "I, as a critic, Kylie-Marie, will not be dwelling on the plot when I pen my review. I shall lavishly praise Mike Beamish's tight direction, and Ashleigh Bradford's fine portrayal of cynical playwright and murderer, Sidney Bruhl.
"I'll highlight Estelle Shutkever's batty psychic, Helga Ten Dorp, and rave about her comic timing. I'll laud Clifford Anderson's diffident young playwright who isn't quite what he seems, and draw attention to fine supporting performances from Sue Lister and John Parkes.
"Mine shall be a dissertation on the excellence of local amateur theatre, the craftsmanship, the hard slog, the ability of these people to create in their audience a magical suspension of disbe-lief.
I'll.. I'll... "Oooer!", breathes the gaping girl as she gazes up at him.
He shoots her a withering glance.
Kylie-Marie dumps Dilbert the very next day.
David Whipp, Bromsgrove Advertiser
Murderous Mayhem at the Palace
What a shocker!
As the audience leapt and screamed at the murderous goings on, the Wythall Theatre Company could be proud of its latest production.
The set was superb and authentic, the story line was frightening and the acting was faultless.
The five-strong cast – Ashleigh Bradford, Sue Lister, Tony Lacey, Estelle Shutkever and John Parkes – kept us all in suspense from the opening to the play’s final curtain.
The plot turned and twisted, suspicious relationships unfolded and actors came back from the dead – in fact it was just like an episode from Liverpool soap, Brookside.
And because I have moaned time and time again about the lack of support, I’m glad to have been proven wrong yet again – the auditorium was packed.
Lisa Piddington, Redditch Advertiser, 19 May 1993