Hilary Lynas, as always, was hilarious as soon as she walked onstage as the nouveau-riche Mrs Arthur, picking up the pace of A Murder Has Been Arranged by Emlyn Williams, performed by the Kirkintilloch Players. We were glad of the slow start (ably introduced by Tamara Horsborough as the deceptively dedicated Miss Groze and by David Mitchell’s avuncular Cavendish and Sheila Todd’s crosspatch Mrs Wragg, in counterpoint) as the plot then got rather thick rather quick.
It takes skill to turn an audience against such a charming figure as Arran Summers’ Jimmy North – AKA Simon Richardson AKA Richard Simonson – and Mrs Arthur gave it her best shot but we all love young love (even when there’s an inconvenient older-but-rich husband) and the warmth of the lovely Lady Beatrice Jasper (Tierney McLeod) overcame the frost from Mater and maid alike. Sir Charles Jasper himself (Gordon Brown) was all urbane dignity and his serene acceptance of the risk of being fooled by his young wife was quite touching.
Enter the wickedly fun villain in the form of Maurice A. Mullins (Craig McEwan) and the eerie character, known only as ‘A Woman’, whose performance by Anne-Marie Connor had us on the edge of our seats. The stage was set and the eleventh hour approaching…
Special mention must go to Tamara Horsborough for the complexity of the role of Miss Groze in this very complex play but to explain that would give the game away! Also to the deft production by Ian Atherton and Bette MacKenzie, and the seamless stage management (if it wasn’t, we didn’t notice) by Iain Carmichael, the atmospheric lighting by Graham Carmichael and the moody music by Gordon Jahn. The attention to detail in the set, props & sumptuous costumes drew us deeper into the spell.
Another great night by the Kirky Players, enjoyed as much by my mother and neighbour as by myself, showing once again the joy of community theatre.
A Murder Has Been Arranged is on at the Turret Theatre, 7:30 pm each night till Saturday 14th Oct. Tickets from www.kirkintillochplayers.co.uk
Poster by Kenwil/ Ian Atherton www.kirkintillochplayers.co.uk