Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime
Venue : Redditch Palace Theatre
Date : November 2006
Genre : Period Play
Baines, the butler
Lord Arthur Savile
Sybil Merton, his fiancee
The Dean of Paddington
Lady Windermere, his aunt
Lady Clementina Beauchamp
Lady Julia Merton, Sybil\'s mother
Mr Podgers, a cheiromantist
Nellie, the maid
Herr Winkelkopf, an anarchist
Set Design & Construction
Set Design & Construction
Play Overview May 2006
Set in the respectability of Victorian England this play leads the audience through a humorous story of duty.
Young Lord Arthur Savile is about to embark on his marriage to the beautiful Sybil. He is happy and she is happy so what could possibly go wrong? Add to the story one interfering Mother-in-law to be and a palmist and then poor Lord Arthur is faced with a bit of a dilemma. Dodgy palmist Podgers tells Arthur he needs to commit a murder before he can marry. Bound to duty Lord Arthur and his Butler Baines begin to devise methods for dispatching unfortunate members of his family. However, bring on the scene the German anarchist Winkelkopf and all attempts at murder prove to be futile.
Constance Cox based the play on a short story by Oscar Wilde and it proves to be skilfully written and very funny. The play was broadcast in on ITV in 1960 for Armchair Theatre with Terry Thomas taking the role of Lord Arthur. Wythall Theatre Company has performed the play once before in 1973. Only last year was the play revised, in an adaptation by Trevor Baxtor, for a tour starring Russ Abbott.
M. Bridger, Various
Editorial 2006 'Group's Welcom Return to Theatre'
Get ready for a tale of murderous mayhem, dotty aunts and precarious poisons at Redditch's Palace Theatre.
Wythall Theatre Company makes a welcome return to the newly refurbished Edwardian auditorium this month with Lord Arthur Savile's Crime.
The show, which opens tonight and runs until Saturday, will be packed with laughter and will feature beautiful costumes and sumptuous set for the audience to enjoy.
It follows the life of Lord Arthur, who is engaged to be married to Sybil Merton, a match not deemed suitable by her mother, Lady Julia. So she employs a fortune teller to discover any thing Lord Arthur might be hiding.
Review 8 November 2006
The phrase, "Your hand in marriage" takes on a different meaning in this delightful comedy, based on an Oscar Wilde story.
Before Lord Savile can go ahead with his 1890 wedding, his prospective mother-in-law demands his palm is read to make sure the future looks rosy. But the prediction is that he is going to commit a murder
There's a Monty Python touch as he devises a hilarious series of murder plots in an attempt to do the dirty deed before his wedding to ensure a life of married bliss.
Constance Cox has written the play and appears to take full advantage of Wilde's wit as a superbly drilled cast of ten exploit the comedy.
Colourful characters range from the domineering mother-in-law (Joy Rodgers) to the zany German anarchist (Peter Round), with Ed Parrott skilfully holding centre-stage as the agitated and amusing potential murderer. The play ends on Saturday.
(Please note that this is the full review from Peter Swingler and contains extra sections not seen in the original publication).
Peter Swingler, Birmingham Mail
What the audience said...
"Excellent performances from the whole cast, particularly Ed Parrott in the title role, added to the quality of this laughter-filled show. The 'bomb that shouldn't be dropped' and the 'hat that wouldn't stay on' only added to the overall fun!" TJ
"This is a tricky play to stage, not least because the Victorian dialogue is very wordy and not “snappy” to deliver, but the cast all handled it extremely well.
Mention must go to Ed Parrott with his largest role to date for the company, indeed he was in almost every scene, but he gave a fine performance with some very witty lines.
Credit too to Paul Hughes as Baines the faithful butler, who had the unenviable job of remembering who was Lady (or Lord) whatever, and introducing the right person at the right time."
"Michael Bently gave a wonderful debut performance for the company. His Mr Podgers was grovelling & obsequious in the extreme and Pete Round was a very funny German anarchist. All in all, a very funny play that really made me laugh." AS
"When I walked into the newly refurbished Palace Theatre, I thought I was in the West End. It was so plush and had such a lovely atmosphere."
"The feeling of being at something special continued once the play commenced. The cast was so strong and put the plot across so convincingly that I was truely disappointed when it finished. The set and costumes were really fantastic and authentic and they really added to the charm of the evening."
"I was so impressed upon leaving that I immediately applied to become a Wythall Angel. Bravo!" RW
Our Audience, Comments and Social Media
Editorial Autumn 2006
Lord Arthur Savile's Crime
Adapted by Constance Cox from Oscar Wilde
On a private reading of Lord Arthur's palm, fortune teller Podgers tells him that he's going to commit a murder. As Lord Arthur feels duty bound to get the murder over and done with before his impending marriage to the lovely Sybil Merton things start to get a little out of hand!
Despite help from his butler and the cheerful anarchist Winkelkopf, attempt after attempt to bump off superfluous members of his family seem doomed to failure.
Don't miss this explosive evening of comedy that will give your chuckle muscles a full workout.