Lindrick Players presented their latest comedy murder-mystery at The Civic Centre in Carlton.
As last year’s Inspector Drake and the Black Widow was such a success it seemed natural to follow it this year with Inspector Drake and the Perfekt Crime.
With just five actors on stage we had plenty of time to learn about each character, but as part of the plot some of them were not quite what they seemed to be.
Inspector Drake and his loyal Sergeant Plod were left to untangle a web of intrigue and deceit with Plod hopelessly bungling every task asked of him.
Brady Mould played the rather dense Plod, a part which he plays for laughs at every opportunity. He has a gift for making you chuckle at his facial expressions and the way he moves. I love this character and really hope David Tristam has written some more of these plays with him in.
Brady made Richard Fletcher (Inspector Drake) giggle unscripted a number of times and you could tell these two had fun playing their roles.
Richard’s dead-pan delivery complemented Brady’s well timed quips. He also made some alarming exits off stage towards the audience which, frankly, must have hurt.
John Murdoch was villainous Dr Short getting his part just right with a supreme self-confidence and condescension.
Sarah Hemsall was Sabrina Short and then became the confidence trickster Sophie Sausage-Dog as her disguise was revealed. She made us believe that her character was innocent and it made the twist in the tale even better when it came.
Helen Stephenson also played Sabrina Short and stayed that way as she was the real one. Her protestations of innocence convinced me that she was the villain, which just goes to prove how wrong you can be.
I loved the touches of detail in this play. The set was thoughtfully constructed and the props just right. The globe drinks trolley, the French window with scenery beyond, the period sofa and the black telephone set the scene.
There were other delightful touches, such as the policeman’s truncheon which was obviously a toy and occasionally, unintentionally, squeaked. And when Inspector Drake stuffed a bun into Plod’s mouth to keep him quiet and poor Brady began to choke and laugh at the same time.
Well done to Director Patricia Shepherd and the team. This was a very gentle comedy of the best kind.
Lindrick Players’ pantomime, runs 16th-19th January. It’s Knight Fever! An Arthurian panto. Tickets will on sale early January.
By Wendy Fidoe