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Agatha Christie’s classic murder-mystery comes to a new light in the most recent play from Banbury Cross Players. A group of relatives gather at ‘The Hollow’, when John Cristow (here played by Nik Lester), is reunited to Veronica Craye (played by Hannah Smart), a murder takes place. But this time there is one difference, there is no Hercule Poirot.
As someone who has the original Agatha Christie book, but hasn’t read yet, and has watched ITV’s adaption of it many times (all of those included the famous Belgium detective), I feel that this script misses an element of the original. The decision to scrap, as you could say, Poirot confuses. I would guess that it was down to the fact that it hard to put on a flawless Belgium accent. But Inspector Colquhoun, is a worthy replacement. Roger Riley, in my mind, plays the detective brilliantly, he is a fantastic way to get over the fact that no one can do the accent.
The set fits into the style of the drama. Its lampshades, retro radios, curtains, and various other objects give a perfect backdrop to the performances. The general look is of a slick, sharp and well executed production.
There was one thing that made the audience let out a small chuckle. I am aware that dying is quite hard to act. When someone did die, well it looked as though we had stepped into a comedy, with falls onto the floor that people couldn’t help smile at. The problem was that making someone laugh in a scene that is meant to tense and emotional takes away the effect. But who can die realistically, because no one alive has ever done so.
The quality of some of the acting is good, and often more so. Gudgeon’s pointed nose and walking paces, Edward Angkatell emotional thoughts and Henrietta’s general voice and style. Then there is Veronica Craye with her moving arms and Gerda Cristow’s ‘so’ emphasizing first scene. By the end I concluded that the performance Lauren Dunn puts on as Gerda was very good. At the beginning I felt that the stresses on certain words didn’t fit in, but in the last scene Lauren Dunn’s performance transfixed me completely.
In short this was a classic amateur dramatic production. I enjoyed it a lot, I was entertained and even though I knew who did it I still tried to find out by putting the clues together.
Banburyshire Info TV, Theatre, and Film Critic
Noah. I am 12 years old and I am writing all the film and TV reviews that you will see on this page. I love films. I love them because how they take you into a completely different world to your own. Films take you on an emotional journey, whether they make you cry or laugh films are wonderful. Even the terrible ones make you laugh, because they are so terrible. Films have the ability to show us other worlds and show us how the world that we live in is changing.
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