Review: Murdered to Death | Kidderminster Operatic & Dramatic Society

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Review: Murdered to Death

Taken From The Kidderminster Shuttle September 24th 2007

DESCRIBED as “the funniest whodunnit Agatha Christie never wrote”, KODS’ production of this hilarious play did not disappoint.

Mildred Bagshot lives at her country house with her niece and butler. An old flame and his wife visit for the weekend, along with a French art dealer, and his socialite friend.

The party is joined unexpectedly by Miss Joan Maples, a local sleuth who seems to attract murder wherever she goes.

Mildred’s murder heralds the arrival of the bumbling and incompetent Inspector Platt and his assistant Constable Tomkins.

The ever-reliable Daphne Knight was perfectly cast as Miss Maples, delivering her lines with consummate skill and timing, while never dropping a stitch from her ever-growing knitting.

Another actor who can always be relied on to turn in an excellent performance, Nigel Preece was in his element in a Clouseau-style characterisation of Pratt, his falls, trips and slips combined with verbal faux pas, all delivered in a Welsh accent, keeping the audience in skills. Ian Jones, as Tomkins, provided the perfect straight man.

Frank Bonney as the butler made the most of the character’s comic potential and played a superb drunk.

The rest of the cast – Mark Smith (a very shady art dealer) and Jackie Rutland (his assistant), Claire Hadland (Mildred), Sharon Westley (Dorothy), Charles Combes and Chris Jones (Colonel and Mrs Craddock), all added superbly to the general mayhem.

KODS are brilliant at comedies, and this was no exception.

VJS