Deliver Us From Evil
When the new vicar and his wife take over the country parish of Wynchcombe Magna, they find strange things happening.
Church bells ring at odd times, a marble statue is decapitated and a swastika and garlic strewn outside the door of their new vicarage. And why won’t Felix, the cat, come into the house?
Is it witchcraft or just somebody trying to frighten them and if so, why? As for the villagers, none are quite what they seem. Who can they trust?
Forget realism. This is a cosy Midsomer Murder story – which is not to say isn’t thrilling. Just the opposite. It held the interest from the start and kept the suspense going right to the final act, helped by fine acting from a highly competent cast.
In this Broughton Players production, Stephen Hall was a perfect vicar with Rachel Binks convincing as his frightened wife. Katherine Hughes boasted an uncanny Ambridge accent as strange country girl, Jessy Beer, while Katherine Dobson and David Birch were typical sophisticated upmarket incomers.
Miss Rawlins, a dotty spinster whose family once owned the village, was played by Marie Noblett who is a ringer for Joan Hickson and would be ideal to play Miss Marple.
Geoffrey Finn was her nephew, Peter, whose relationship with the other villagers went back into the past when there were covens in the village.
In truth, I found the ending rather far-fetched and implausible but this is Midsomer Murders territory, remember.
Don’t expect Scott and Bailey. Just enjoy it for what it is - escapism at its very best and a satisfying night’s entertainment well worth seeing.
Deliver Us From Evil runs until tomorrow night at Preston Playhouse.
By Ron Ellis