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by Frederick Knott
Wendice TRACEY NICHOLLS
Delighting in the detail
WIMBORNE Drama always face the challenge of surpassing the high standards of their previous performances, and this dialogue-heavy Poirot-esque play presents a meaty challenge for any actor wishing to stretch their stage legs. Despite unavoidable lengthy scene setting, Wimborne Drama delivered it with strength.
One of the trademarks of this group appears to be the aspiration of delivering as realistic an experience for their audience as possible, and yet again the calibre of the set was remarkable. Not one detail had been overlooked, from the carefully placed props to the foliage behind the main window leading to the garden.
The sound and lighting were also nigh on impeccable; which was no mean feat with doorbells, phones and radios going off every which way when. Dapper suits and dance dresses also added to the atmosphere of the 1950s era in which the play is set.
Jeremy Austin delivered a very droll performance as Inspector Hubbard, delivering his lines with amusing timing and a highly suitable ironic air.
Lead villain Richard Neal also carried his part well as the man who plans to kill his wife for an inheritance but whose deviousness is unlocked by the most unlikely of clues.
Eleanor Cowley, The Daily Echo
IMPECCABLE timing, an appreciative audience and attention to detail made this production a sheer pleasure to watch.
It seemed that most people in the audience had seen the Hitchcock film of Frederick Knott's Dial M for Murder and already knew the plot. However, this in no way adversely affected the tension that built up throughout the play. The cast managed to leave the audience on the edge of their seats as we waited for the final twist in the tale.
It can be difficult for actors to create suspense when people know what is coming, but they did this to perfection. Jeremy Austin's portrayal of Inspector Hubbard was brilliant - laid-back and seemingly gullible. I certainly never thought he would see the truth behind the pretence. He delivered his lines with perfect timing to bring out the humour.
Richard Neal was a superb scheming Tony Wendice, always supportive of his wife Margot while longing to see her dead. Stuart Glossop won our sympathy as the kindly crime writer Max Halliday totally committed to saving Margot.
It was Tracey Nicholls though as Margot who deserved the bouquet for stepping in with a just a few weeks' notice to play the role with such confidence and talent.
Props, costumes, sets and an assortment of door and phone bells always ringing on cue ensured that Wimborne Drama's reputation for excellence was maintained.
Liz Turner, The Community Magazine
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