Bolton Little Theatre

Until Saturday

DEATHTRAP makes a game out of murder with plot twists too numerous to mention, and adds just a small amount of comedy to make it all palatable.

It's a play within a play and writer Ira Levin assembles all the genre’s standard ingredients, from plot twists and comic characters to shocks that should make the audience gasp.

The play begins with writer Sidney Bruhl, who was once a highly successful thriller writer. But his last four plays have flopped and he’s been reduced to living off his wealthy wife Myra. Sidney receives a script from young writer Clifford Anderson, a former student at a playwriting seminar and he’s surprised to discover that it’s a perfect suspense drama with all the necessary ingredients for success. He begins to speculate as to how he could steal the play and present it as his own but when Clifford arrives on the scene, he isn’t quite the naïve youngster that he first seemed to be.

Cue lots of plot twists that if written here would give the play away.

Richard Leigh gives a solid performance as Sidney capturing the ruthlessness and tenseness of the character well. Lindsay Farnworth as the fearful and at times hysterical wife Myra gives a sensitive performance. Nicholas Eccles as young writer Clifford, plays him with wide-eyed innocence to begin with before showing what his true intentions are, another good performance. All three actors worked well together.

Alan Carney plays Porter Milgrim, Sidney’s lawyer and himself a would-be playwright, and Sue Mallett brings some light relief as Helga Ten Dorp, an eccentric psychic with a knack for sussing out hidden circumstances.

Director Simon Mott has put together a slick production which suited the cast well. Jeff Lunt and his team have created a handsome interior set, ornamented with a display of exotic weapons.

If you like a good thriller with plenty of twists then this is the play for you.

Jason Crompton