Rehearsal for Murder, Blackpool Grand Theatre
A chilling murder case with an ending to shock even the most seasoned mystery fans: Rehearsal for Murder is a welcome presence on Blackpool’s world-famous stage.
From the setting - an empty West End theatre - to the cast of colourful characters each with their own motive, Bill Kenwright’s play styles itself after the cosy classics of the mid-20th century... and is just as likely to entertain the most die-hard Christie fans.
The premise of the play - grieving playwright Alex Dennison (Alex Ferns) looking to unravel the mysterious death of his celebrity lover Monica Welles (Susie Amy) - is somewhat let down by the couple’s uncomfortable schmoozing during the first half.
“To hell with my lipstick!” Welles exclaims, before passionately locking lips with her husband-to-be for a good 10 seconds, giving the audience plenty of time to mask their grimaces by reaching for another lemon bonbon.
But the show picks up pace in the second half, delivering twist after shocking twist with pleasing performances from former Emmerdale actress Sophie Powles, Gwynfor Jones and a delightfully hammy Peter Amory.
It’s theatre veteran Anita Harris as millionaire producer Bella Lamb who really steals the show, as well as providing some well-timed comic relief.