Portrait of Murder
Venue : Woodrush High School
Date : February 1982
Genre : Thriller
Assistant Stage Manager
Assistant Stage Manager
Thrills at right pace
This ‘portrait’ is a picture of success for the go-ahead Wythall Dramatic Society. So what a pity that the first night audience was not at capacity. Perhaps this enthusiastic company will have better luck during the remainder of the run.
Its six-strong cast keep Robert Bloomfield’s intriguing thriller moving along at just the right pace.
Val Archer as the novelist Paula Barlow takes the honours as her split-personality existence unfolds in flashback. Phil Lett is her actor Husband, Elliot, who plots the murder, while Beryl Linforth adds spice in his life.
Estelle Shutkever plays the role of Paula’s oppressed secretary who herself dreams of being a peot, with Jack Parramore as the literary agent and Peter Webber, the artist-friend, who drifts in and out with carnations and red roses.
The direction is by Willa Hislop and the production, at the Woodrush High School, Wythall, continues tonight and tomorrow.
Fred Bromwich, Local Redditch Paper, 1982
Copy of review sent to the "Bromsgrove Messenger" on March 5th, 1982. No guarantee of publication.
In discussing any production of the Wythall Dramatic Society, one always has to think in terms of superlatives. The company possesses a wealth of talent and, in the case of the most recent production - a thriller entitled "Portrait of Murder", by Robert Bloomfield - any weaknesses were in the play and not in the acting.
Val Archer, in the principal part - a dual role, as it turned out -was superbly convincing throughout the play, and Beryl Linforth gave one of her best performances as the unfaithful husband's lovesick current mistress. All the supporting parts were well sustained, and the prompter would not have been missed if he, or she, had stayed at home.
The set was pleasing and the lighting faultless, while the very able young producer, Willa Hislop, and her assistant Angela Smith richly deserved a curtain call which, unfortunately, they did not get.
E.E.H., Possibly the Bromsgrove Messenger
'Portrait One of the Best'
For those who like to watch a good thriller, and who does not, Robert Bloomfield's "Portrait of Murder" presented by Wythall Dramatic Society offered two hours of enthralling entertainment.
During the past 20 years the society has tackled productions of every kind but this, its latest, must surely rank as one of its best.
Star of the show was undoubtedly Val Archer, as an authoress whose entire personality had been changed as the result of an accident. Her portrayal of the contrast between her "two selves" was piece of perfect artistry.
She was admirably supported by Phil Lett as her philandering husband, Estelle Shutkever as her secretary and Beryl Linforth as the "other woman", all of whom brought complete reality to their parts as also did Jack Parramore as a literary agent and Peter Webber as a somewhat eccentric artist friend.
The play lacked nothing. It had every ingredient of a first-rate thriller, its staging could not be faulted and its cast had a polish and perfection equal to that of any professional company.
P.K.S., Local Newspaper 1982