Stars from the world of TV take to the stage at the Opera House in a tale of The Perfect Murder.
Les Dennis (Family Fortunes), Claire Goose (Casualty) and Gray O’Brien (Coronation Street) are among the 5 strong cast performing in this darkly amusing adaptation of Peter James’ best selling novella of the same name. James is one of the UK’s most treasured crime writers and, just like Agatha Christie’s work, his story translates well to a live audience.
The Perfect Murder focuses on bickering husband and wife Victor and Joan ‘Smiley’ (ironic as both are far from happy in their loveless marriage). Victor (Les Dennis) is a hen-pecked IT manager who is making secret visits to an Eastern European prostitute called Kamila (Simona Armstrong). Meanwhile it seems that Joan (Claire Goose) has things to hide too…namely a buff ‘bit on the side’ Don (Gray O’Brien). When the Smiley’s decide enough is enough both begin plotting the ‘perfect’ way to dispose of the other with farcical consequences!
Dennis and Goose make a great on stage partnership delivering some delicious one liners in an almost ping pong attack. All the time there’s a gentle nod to the audience with dialogue such as:
“I’ll cancel your credit card”
“Over my dead body”
giving us a cheeky insight into what may lie ahead for the pair.
Gray O’Brien provides the majority of the laughs as the wannabe cockney Don. O’Brien gives the character an alpha male swagger and an abundance of rhyming slang like ‘fancy a Melvin Bragg’ which has the audience in stitches.
Some good supporting performances from Steven Miller as rookie Detective Constable Roy Grace and Simona Armstrong as Kamila who makes a very convincing call girl with psychic abilities.
This is a brilliant black comedy thriller with some clever twists that will keep you on your toes until the curtain falls.
The play runs at Manchester’s Opera House until Saturday 19th April.