Review - Rehearsal for Murder at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre

The cast of Rehearsal for Murder
The cast of Rehearsal for Murder

Everyone’s a critic, and so it appears that these critics persuaded a glamourous actress to commit suicide in this thriller.

Rehearsal for Murder sees the story of a playwright who’s new work is given mixed reviews which drives the leading lady, his wife, to throw herself off the balcony. But her husband is not convinced by the verdict and a year on from the tragedy, the same cast reconvene to rehearse his new play, which has more than a passing resemblance to the circumstances of the night.

This show sees a welcome return of the murder mystery format that has served the theatre so well, but this is more than an unusual show.

The first half takes in the insecurity of working in the theatre and as is inevitable with a murder mystery, there is lots to set up. However, with its look at the behind the scenes of the theatre and knowing jokes, it seemed to be a little self indulgent.

The first half does drag slightly and a leaner, tighter script might have enabled the show to be a little more dramatic. Especially with the slightly predictable plot developments which littered the first act.

However, while it is easy to see where it is going in the first half, the second act delivers many surprises. I won’t ruin any of them, but suffice to say the pace, at a leaner 40 minutes and the intensity actors make for a riveting piece of theatre.

The actors are all fantastic in their respective parts but special praise probably should go to Robert Daws as playwright Alex Dennison who more or less carries the show. Indeed he has all of the most difficult set pieces and gives the character plenty of light and shade.

This is a show that follows on from the successful run by The Agatha Christie Theatre Company and shares many of the same cast and production team.

The Classic Theatre Company’s production of Rehearsal for Murder doesn’t quite hit the heights of the Queen of Crime at her peak but it certainly passes for an enjoyable night out and in classic whodunnit fashion, you’ll be wracking your brains trying to work out who the murderer is.

Rehearsal for Murder is staged until Saturday February 27. Tickets for the show can be booked by calling the 0844 871 7607 or visit www.atgtickets.co.uk/aylesbury