By Andy Ford

A REVIEW of the play; Death by Fatal Murder, staged at Buttonwood Club on Saturday; May 18.

The Club on Phipps Lane, Burtonwood; was packed last Saturday for the latest performance from the Burtohwood Amateur Music and Drama Society-Death by Fatal Murder, a skit of Agatha Christie-type murder mysteries by Yorkshire author Peter Gordon.

The action is set in a country manor, Bagshot House, in 1940. A police constable has been murdered and the inept Inspector Pratt arrives to investigate. .

Just like an Agatha Christie story there are a cast of suspicious characters in residence at Bagshot House, each of whom may be the murderer.

There is the house’s owner Nancy Allwright and her missing husband Squadron Leader Allwright, who turns up midway through in unexplained circumstances.

There is a forceful Welsh psychic, Blodwyn Morgan, and a·young aristocrat working on the land for ·· the war effort, Ginny Farquhuar, an exileditalian Enzo Faribaldi, and a certain Miss Maple who bears an uncanny resemblance to Agatha Christie’s detective Miss Marple. As the incomptent Inspector Pratt proceeds to.try to solve the mystery he keeps on mixing up his words and suspects in various ways which had the. audience laughing heartily at the misunderstandings he generates and Peter Gordon’s puns, double meanings and wordplay.

Rob Minjoot, playing the inspector, showed a great aptitude for physical comedy ashe fell and tripped his way around the set and over the various characters, and also as the lynch-pin of the play. he had a huge number of lines to learn and deliver.

Pauline Taylor, as Welsh psychic Blodwyn Morgan, demonstrated her skills with accents not just as Blodwyn, the comically over the top Welsh medium, but also as a .Glaswegian spirit who revealed crucial aspects of the case.

The ending, without spoiling the plot, was typical of Agatha Christie, although so complicated I think most people struggled to follow it in detail. But no matter, it wasn’t important in what had been a really enjoyable, – : humorous, fun and well-executed play.

Warrington Guardian Review : Death by Fatal Murder

It Runs in the Family

Date 30th March 2013
Society Burtonwood AM & Dramatic Society
Venue Burtonwood Parish Hall
Type of Production Play
Director Judith Maffitt


Author: Michael Jones-McCaw

It Runs in the Family is a hilarious play set in a hospital, and contains the usual assortment of farcical lunatics running in and out of doors mistaking everybody for someone else. The story rests on the efforts of the high-flying Doctor David Mortimore, about to deliver a prestigious speech on which may rest a knighthood, to deal with something that has just now come back to haunt him. Dr Mortimore’s efforts to deal with his primary concern, that his wife (at the hospital to hear his lecture) not meet the evidence of his past, sets off a cascading disaster of conflicting fictions to which he and others must react ever more creatively.

The cast of Burtonwood AMADS were on top form as always delivering pace a speed required with any farce and bags of energy and humour that had me exhausted just watching.

Leading from the front, Brian Maffit as Dr. David Mortimore was, as always on top form with his delivery and characterisation and with impeccable comic timing. Scott Wardle as Dr. Mike Connolly was every bit as good and both worked brilliantly together.

Julie Bold gave a memorable performance as the Matron – the one left zonked after being injected with a tranquilizer and the next minute finding herself clinging to a windowsill. Its crazy but makes for delightful entertainment.

Anne Mallett played the wife Rosemary Mortimore helping the plot to go from bad to worse bringing about more unexpected twists and turns as the evening went on. Colin Frodsham as wheelchair bound Bill played a blinder and added so much comic value to the show.

The whole cast proved a talented bunch under the direction of Judith Maffitt who had her work cut out in making sure all the entrances and exits were slick  and that everyone was exactly where they should at exactly the right time.

It Run’s in the Family

Love Begins at Fifty

Date 1st October 2015
Society Burtonwood AM & Dramatic Society
Venue Burtonwood Catholic Club
Type of Production Play
Director Judith Maffitt


Author: Peter Johnson

This was my first visit to this company due to circumstances beyond my control, but I can say what an enthusiastic company they are. This play was an extremely funny piece staged in a small venue with a huge stage area, one of which most companies would love to perform on. A well designed set, lighting, and sound, well positioned to enable the actors to move with ease as the play rolled out. Whilst funny it would have benefited from a little more pace, due to the length of the play, as I found out later there is a shorter version but alas it was impossible for the company to switch midstream as rehearsals were well under way, that said it was performed with aplomb. Anita Debanks (Julie Bold) alias Mrs Bucket!!!! good diction and movement concealing her indiscretion would love to have heard you slip into scouse just to add to the humour, but that is a purely personal thing. Clive Debanks (Brian Maffitt) a huge role carried out with ease so many funny lines and innuendo, comedy is all about timing and you had it in abundance well done. Jack Reynolds (John Hickey) accomplished performance, but when playing opposite someone with so many funny lines you have to keep up and bounce off each other, but well done. Claire Murphy (Sue Sefton) heartfelt sympathy with your voice problem during the run but what you delivered didn’t detract from your performance, and realistically was far more difficult to deliver well done. The other cameo roles were performed well and added to the overall effect of the show.

Many thanks for the hospitality during my visit, and wonderful to meet such an enthusiastic company.

Love Begins at 50