An Absolute Farce of a Murder Mystery, 5 Stars

An Absolute Farce of a Murder Mystery
Drayton Arms Theatre
28th Feb to 11th March 2023

“In the year of our Lord Nineteen-Hundred & Agatha, the inhabitants and guests of Garbadale Manor have their evening rudely interrupted by the untimely death of Sir Cecil. Join the Usual Tired Old Tropes, ahem, Dynamic and Electrifying List of Suspects: the Monstrous Patriarch, the Drunken Son; the Maid with a Secret; the Butler with a Past, the Celebrated Psychic, the Longful Daughter; the Ostensibly Objective Rake; a Ghost-like Thing: all collide and commune in a raucous take on the stylings of Agatha Christie – with added Ghost. Or is there?” So, there you have it… lost loves, hidden identities, twists and turns and comic misunderstandings – and you’ll be pleased to hear, no incest.”

Review by Richard Lambert, 5 Stars

The play is so funny! A world premiere and I laughed from start to finish. That really isn’t like me at all! Plays are not usually my thing, I prefer musicals, dance and physical theatre but this one is so well written and so funny that it is a fabulous night out!

A really strong cast of 8, more than enough to fill a West End production these days, are all bonkers! Lady Susan Bloom, the psychic, played by Helen Lang, also directs the play with expertise and pace. Peter Rae plays Lord Sebastian Hardcastle and is also the writer. Rosalind Blessed has a few screams up her sleeve and nobody is quite what they seem to be.

All very self-effacing and hilarious!

The set is simple. The costumes are period. The movement staging works really well and was well rehearsed. The lights are effective and the sound content is good even if the playback system is over-ramped causing some distortion. But who cares when it’s all so much fun!

A short 1st half and an even shorter 2nd half and you’re back in the bar to get one for the road (public transport of course!) I’ll definitely be looking out for more plays written by Peter Rae, more shows directed by Helen Lang, and more from from Canonbie Productions!

If you want to forget all your day to day challenges for one night this month, “An absolute farce of a murder mystery” is a must-see for a tongue in cheek pick-me-up!

Photo credit: Jakub Bachleda-Wala

Cast:Holly AshmanChristian BallantyneHelen BangRosalind BlessedPeter RaeZuzana SpacirovaToby Wynn-DaviesDuncan WilkinsCreative team:Director: Helen Bang Costume Designer: Lizzie Maria ThompsonLighting Designer: Roel FoxMovement Director: Kirsten WestdalCompany Stage Manager: Oettie DevrieseArt Design: Tim JonesPublicity: Kevin Wilson for KWPRProduced by Canonbie ProductionsTrigger & Content Warnings: flickering lights – murder – death – mean people – antagonistic patriarchal behaviour – sibling rivalry – attitudes consistent with 1930’s Daily Mail readers – an implied disdain for socialism – comedy enslavement – occasional breaking of the 4th wall – theatrical irreverence.Canonbie Productions present the world premiere ofAn Absolute Farce of a Murder Mysteryby Peter Raedirected by Helen BangThe Drayton Arms Theatre153 Old Brompton RoadLondonSW5 0LJ28 February – 11 MarchTuesday – Saturdayat 7.30pmTickets:£16.00 / £14.00Box Office: