Performing three different plays each year, Stourbridge Theatre Company has been Stourbridge Town Hall’s resident amateur theatre company since 1933.
We both enjoy watching a murder mystery drama, whoever fails to guess the murderer’s identity gets to make the tea. Let’s just say my husband now makes the perfect cup. So, we headed to Stourbridge Town Hall for the company’s first production of the 2018 season – Rehearsal for Murder.
Originally a film for television in 1982, written by Richard Levinson & William Link (authors of Murder She Wrote & Columbo) this classic who done it drama, has been adapted for the stage by D.D. Brooke.
Playwright Alex Dennison is left heartbroken when his fiancée Monica Welles, the leading lady in his latest play, is found dead on opening night.
On the anniversary of Monica’s death Dennison calls the original cast members to a reading of his new play. The cast gather in the theatre where the tragedy took place. As each cast member begins to read their parts they start to feel uncomfortable, as it appears each scene resembles an encounter they may have had with Monica.
Dennison is convinced that Monica has been murdered and is determined to identify her killer.
Using black stage curtains, minimal lighting, and clever stage direction, Sandra Griswold creates a production that is full of mystery and suspense. The references to the local area and members of the cast speaking with local regional accents were a refreshing touch and greatly appreciated by the audience.
Graham Moffit in the demanding role of Alex Dennison, skilfully lead the viewer through the plots twists and turns, holding the audience’s attention throughout the performance.
Liz Sparke as leading lady Monica Welles and Laura Cox as actress Karen Daniels, have good stage presence and both were very believable in their respective roles.
This is a talented company and each member of the cast gave convincing performances.
Did I guess who had done it, I didn’t have a clue, and was thrilled by the unexpected ending.
I thoroughly enjoyed my evening and look forward to this company’s future productions.
Stourbridge Theatre Company forthcoming productions at Stourbridge Town Hall:
Goodnight Mister Tom (6th – 8th September)
The Broken Truce – a play by David Morris to commemorate 100 years since the end of world war one. (22nd-24th November)
Rehearsal for Murder is also featured on the Theatretastic Podcast
Theatretastic rating 4/5:
We say: “A fantastic evening of suspense with an extremely talented company!”