It often happens that regional theatre press nights occur on the same date and so it is with the 2nd August. Not wanting to miss one of the excellent Classic Thriller Season Theatre Royal series of summer murder mysteries I find myself as a reviewer inhabiting the Wednesday matinee spot. I always had the perhaps false opinion that the Theatre Royal and similar theatres would be less than half fall of pensioners on a matinee. Well, I was wrong. Today the stalls at least are very much occupied by a variety of people of all ages – although mostly over sixty. Like me, they are all keen to be entertained by an Agatha Christie classic that doesn’t involve a title hinting at rodent exterminators. It’s Spider’s Web and set in a remote country house full of antique furniture and dark secrets. It doesn’t disappoint and is both gripping and very amusing.
The excellent cast are John Lyons (Sir Roland Delahaye), Andrew Ryan (Hugo Birch), Christopher Brooks (Jeremy Warrender), Lara Lemon (Clarissa Hailsham-Brown), Juliette Strobel (Pippa Hailsham-Brown), Mildred Peake (Susan Earnshaw), Jeremy Lloyd Thomas (Elgin the butler), John Goodrum (Oliver Costello), David Osmond (Henry Hailsham – Brown), George Telfer (Inspector Lord), Ed Telfer (Constable Jones). The solid period set design is by Sarah Wynne Kordas and Spider’s Web is directed with an awful lot of fun by Karen Henson.
As expected in an Agatha Christie play there are plenty of red herrings and as we sit smugly in our seats at the interval knowing full well who the murderer is. We are proved wrong again and again in the snappy second half. All through the play there are plenty of unexpected laughs and these come from some witty lines but mainly from the acting responses from the brilliant cast and slick direction.
This reviewer is deliberately keeping back from telling you any spoilers and story details but can guarantee you an old fashioned well acted murderously fun night at Nottingham Theatre Royal with Spider’s Web and like me you will come away with a satisfied smile on your face from TABS production of Spider’s Web.
Spider’s Web runs at Nottingham Theatre Royal until Saturday 6th August.