The Opera House hosts The Perfect Murder

By Julia Taylor

THE PERFECT MURDER, Shaun McKenna’s adaptation of a Peter James novel is not, as you would think, a whodunit but a why-did-they-bother story about a bored couple who plan to murder each other. Divorce would, you think, be a simpler option.

But nothing is simple about these two.

Childless Victor and Joan Smiley are at each other’s throats from the start. After twenty years, Victor is sick of Joan’s nagging and Joan is just bored. They sleep in separate bedrooms.

This play boasts a fine cast. The squabbling couple are played by Les Dennis (Family Fortunes) and Claire Goose (Waking the Dead and Casualty)

Les’s Victor is a moaning Victor Meldrew type with a habit of humming whenever he plans Joan’s demise. He hums when painting his wife’s bedroom and when making macaroons but I won’t say why!

His catchphrase is: “What would Sherlock do?”

He shares his plans with bit on the side psychic Croatian prostitute, Kamila (Simona Armstrong) who has a perfect accent.

Unbeknown to Victor, Joan has her own lover called Don Kirk. He’s played amusingly by Gray O’Brien.

One pair beats the other to it and one of them ends up wrapped in bin bags in the freezer.

Always in the background is Steven Miller’s astute Detective Constable Roy Grace.

The fun really starts when a ghost appears.

This play’s surprise ending beats them all.