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Review: Agatha Christie's A Murder is Announced at Beccles Public Hall

PUBLISHED: 09:00 02 June 2018

Beccles Public Hall.  PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Beccles Public Hall. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

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Bungay Theatre Group staged its spring production in Beccles for the first time - and treated a largely new audience to a taste of its qualities.

Agatha Christie was a good choice to entertain them with too – all the usual twists and turns and finger-pointing at each character in turn as Inspector Craddock and the legendary Miss Marple try to solve the mystery, created when an advert in the local paper predicts a murder in the Blacklock household at 6.30pm that evening.

There are eight suspects to focus on and the players do a good job of keeping the suspense going to the end. Janet Wright was a strong lead as Letitia Blacklock – was it her?

And it was good to see three generations of the Cooper family on stage again, Emily Cooper as the Hungarian maid, Mitzi, and her daughter Jessica Delf as Phillipa Haymes – could it be either of them?

The experienced Jenny Cooper was Miss Marple, an able foil for the exasperated Craddock, played by Steve Doyle.

Then there is the eccentric Dora Bunner, played by Iris Emmerson, who spots the advert, and Julia Simmons, played by Caroline Chamberlain – who is she exactly? Could it be either of them?

Peter Goodfellow is Patrick Siimmons, who also comes under scrutiny, while Faye Copsey makes her debut confidently with the group as Clara Sweetman. Bungay Town Reeve Stephen Went takes time out from his duties to play her husband Edmund – three more for the sleuths to turn their attention to.

Debbie Pretty is Sergeant Mellers and Alan Smithee is Rudi Sherz in a play directed by Emily Cooper. It provided an enjoyable evening on Thursday and Friday, trying to guess who dunnit, and if Bungay Theatre Group visits the Public Hall again, on this showing they are sure to be welcomed by Beccles theatre-goers.

TERRY REEVE

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