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The Perfect Murder stage production: EADT

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A comedy-cum-thriller-cum-murder mystery , The Perfect Murder is a great night at the theatre.

Starring Les Dennis as the disillusioned Victor Smiley and Claire Goose as his equally disillusioned wife Joan, the play, based on the novel by Peter James, is entertaining from start to finish.

Never boring, peppered with observational humour and some lovely moments of pure theatre – this is well worth the effort.

Set in modern suburban Britain, the play focuses on the lives of Victor and Joan as they struggle with their 20-year-old marriage and growing dislike of each other. Victor wants to do away with Joan and run away with his tart-with-a-heart girlfriend Kamila, played by Simona Armstrong.

Meanwhile Joan is enjoying a passionate affair with Don, played by Gray O’Brien, who can’t stop talking in Cockney rhyming slang.

And in steps Detective Constable Roy Grace whose suspicions are around when Victor goes missing.

Lots of laughs throughout as the scene is set and the play drifts effortlessly from comedy to tense drama, with the actors clearly on top of their game.

With a lively pace and plenty of excellent one liners – Joan in particular gets some great gags – The Perfect Murder is a creative production which delves into the theme that there is a murderer in us all.

Making use of an imaginative set, the action builds to the inevitable and thrilling twist in the tale.

The clues, of course, were there.

Excellent.

JAMES MARSTON