Through a very kind acquaintance we managed to get free tickets to the opening night of ‘A Murder is Announced’ at the Comedy Theatre and it was an absolute treat.
(If we were going to choose any play to see during our first fortnight in Melbourne we might not have picked a typically British murder mystery, but free is free, and it really did turn out to be great!)
First off, it was a miracle that I’d never seen it before, as British TV churns out more Agatha Christie productions than Rod Stewart releases Greatest Hits albums. But every scene was a surprise, with twists and turns all over the place, and the production seemed genuinely original and fresh despite the play’s age.
It was the kind of production I love – where every scene takes place on the same set (the sitting room at Little Paddocks) – so there was none of that ‘I’m a stagehand moving furniture but I’m dressed in black so you can’t see me’ nonsense. On top of that, the costumes were perfect down to the smallest detail, and the sound effects and lighting all seemed to happen at the right times (which you would expect from a professional production, but I still always worry that something might go wrong!)
The all-Australian cast (including none other than Pippa from Home and Away) had perfected their English accents and seemed to give 100% to every scene. And (apart from the curtain call of course) there were a couple of occasions when every single cast member was in the scene – lined up and spanning the entire width of the stage – which really brought the diversity of characters and costumes to life.
It was a fabulous production, and everyone involved gave the audience a hugely enjoyable and suspense-filled evening.