“aren’t enough superlatives to sum it up!”
Audience comment via Twitter
“it’s just such fun from start to finish”
Review by Alison Barlow
TO CELEBRATE its 35th anniversary, Miracle is revisiting one of its biggest hits. And it’s easy to see why this comedy whodunit was so popular when it was first staged in 2005 – it’s just such fun from start to finish.
Set in 1932, it opens with Fleet Street editor and bestselling author Edgar Wallace receiving a call from his publisher saying his next manuscript is due the following day. As the real-life Wallace was known for making up his stories as he went along and sometimes even turning out a book in a weekend, this play imagines the processes he might have used to write a crime novel at such speed.
Leaping into action, he calls on his wife, new secretary, butler and gardener to help him come up with a script – and fast.
The Wallace household flit between reality and fiction as they invent storylines and characters, devise dialogue and argue over who actually done it. There’s lots of physical comedy, clever use of props, witty one-liners and amusing songs as we get ever closer to finding out why the lady is so frightened – and the identity of the red scarf strangler.
The charming and inventive show has great pace and gives the cast – Tom Adams, Jo Bowis, Benjamin Dyson, Rosie Hughes and Dominic Power – a chance to showcase their acting, comedy and musical talents.
The Case Of The Frightened Lady is one I’m glad has been reopened.
You can see the show at The Minack, Porthcurno, from June 23 to 27 and Penzance’s Penlee Park on June 28.
“Fast-paced and slick”
Western Morning News Review
It is 1932 and Edgar Wallace, the writer who famously gave us King Kong, along with a string of crime novels and plays, is found in his study receiving a call from his publisher.
The deadline for his next novel is tomorrow morning and he has not written so much as one word. Calling upon his wife, secretary, butler and gardener for assistance, Wallace sets about improvising the plot for his new thriller, The Case of the Frightened Lady.
Hurling themselves from one character to the next with the help of costume additions and accents, Miracle Theatre’s five actors treated the audience at the Omnibus Theatre, Clapham to an uproarious two hours of “play-within-a-play” farce.
Fast-paced and slick, it barreled along to the novel’s conclusion, sending up the thriller genre and even doffing a hat to Cluedo with the discovery of a length of lead piping in a drawer.
The set was inventively used throughout the piece as the group attempted to turn Wallace’s study into various Frightened Lady locations and the talented ensemble cast were clearly having a great deal of fun bringing Bill Scott’s dynamic script to life.
A special mention must go to the versatile Jo Bowis for her characterisation of both the Frightened Lady herself, Isla Crane, and the sinister butch butler, Gilder, who walks like John Wayne and has a facial affectation. Tom Adams too, as the hammy amateur dramatics-enthusiast gardener, hilariously morphed himself into various roles including the eccentric Dr Amersham and camp toff Willie Lebanon.
This is Miracle’s 35th year of producing and touring innovative theatre around the country from its home in Cornwall, and it has once again delivered a hit.
“Guaranteed to keep the audience laughing all the way home”
WHAT does a famous whodunnit writer do when he is given only two days to write a new thriller? Easy, he gets his wife, secretary and a couple of servants to help him write it for him.
Bill Scott’s brilliant farce, loosely based on Edgar Wallace’s murder mystery, celebrates 35 years of touring by Cornwall’s Miracle Theatre Company in their premier performance of a national tour, a marvellously designed piece of work that never falters for a second.
The five characters, headed by Benjamin Dyson as Wallace, are roped in to develop a convoluted murder plot that changes every couple of minutes as they all join in the fun, swopping roles and moving the story from one daft scenario to another while they each come up with new ideas, even giving items of furniture unusual roles to play.
The starry cast give immaculate performances as they leap from hero to villain, and gardener to aristocrat with a dash of musical interludes to keep the pace flows along nicely.
As the thriller develops, there is even a sub-plot with Wallace and his secretary acting out a little private drama of their own in a riotous comedy that is full of visual jokes that can be guaranteed to keep the audience laughing all the way home.
“A BRILLIANT production! Our faces were aching from laughing and smiling so much!”