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.