Twist after twist in play about murder plots delights audience

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Deathtrap by Sleaford Little Theatre - Review by Andy Hubbert

There were some interesting new additions on my latest visit to Sleaford Playhouse, including the new screen displaying forthcoming events and the great series of film clips of old performances.

Ira Levin’s script is a play about murder committed by men who write about murder, so the irony is thick, with plenty of injections of humour.

Set in the 1970s, dried up playwright Sidney Bruhl (played confidently by Andy Canadine complete with outrageous moustache and loud shirt) enlists a young writer Clifford Anderson (Craig Pakes) to help him bump off his wife by causing her to have a heart attack. Michelle Ritchie as Myra believes her husband to have killed and buried the young protege, only to be fatally shocked to see him burst in and beat Sidney to death. The woman next to me leapt in the surprise at the reappearance in the best twist of the play.

The faultless Tina Hodgson as Helga Ten Dorp the Dutch psychic brings light relief with her visions of doom. She really made the most of her role.

We discover the murderous writing duo are double crossing each other - dying at each other’s hands. It was a good recovery by Pakes and Canadine after a crossbow malfunction to conclude a throughly enjoyable performance.