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Dead Simple stage production: The Latest

By Andrew Kay

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Despite having read the novel, this stage version of the Peter James novel managed to keep me gripped. Cleverly lifting crime fiction from page to stage is no mean feat and here the company do it with a razor sharp edge. A decent set manages the changes of scene well but at the end of the day it has to be down to a great story being delivered by a compelling cast. As a fan of the Roy Grace series I found Gray O’Brien’s portrayal a little too chipper, lacking the sadness of the character, and Marc Small as Branson is not as cool as the person I read. Tina Hobley though is wonderfully evil when all is revealed and Jamie Lomas adds a real sense of desperation. Finally Josh Brown’s Davey Wheeler is superbly realised, the real highlight of the production, with an utterly believable performance that prompts comedic relief and genuine sadness. A thriller to be sure.

Theatre Royal Brighton, 23 February 2015

Rating: ★★★★☆