Following the critically acclaimed hit stage production The Perfect Murder in 2014, Peter James has once again produced a thriller that found its way to the stage.
Dead Simple follows James’ now famed character Detective Roy Grace who stars in a series of criminal mysteries. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the character, this detective is psychic which is more than beneficial in the rescue of the newest victim, Michael Harrison.
Everything appears picture-perfect for Michael; he runs a successful business, returns home every evening to an attractive looking flat with fine floor to ceiling windows and an even finer fiancé.
As you might guess from a tagline that reads – ‘One man’s nightmare is another man’s fortune’ you’re just as sure of who is going to get it as you are when you’re faced with a blonde and a shower scene.
It is in fact a ‘dead simple’ whodunit and it doesn’t take too long for the audience to find out who actually dunit, but with the added twists and turns of the plot it’s still a nail biting theatrical experience.
Ex-Hollyoaks villain Jamie Lomas plays the dazed victim, a far cry from the big bully who roamed the streets of Chester. Joining him are Rik Makarem, Michael McKell, Gary O’Brien and Tina Hobley who performs excellently as the complex character of the future Mrs Harrison, Ashley Harper.
The basis of the novel came from James’ curiosity of fear and what it is that actually makes us afraid. After putting the question to a psychiatrist he found he was surprised by the answer.
‘I’d been expecting him to say spiders or terrorists, or cancer, or any of a number of things so many of us do fear. But instead he said it was the fear of being alone. Alone in the world. Unable to communicate with a soul. Friendless and unloved.’
James, unable to shake this notion, pursued the quest to tap into people’s deepest fears in his writing, subjecting his audience to the darkest of circumstances in Dead Simple.
Packed with plot twists, intrigue, hush- hush conversations which are as melodramatic as you could imagine and even a psychic detective, it proves to be an entertaining night of theatre.