January 30, 2024

I hope that what I am about to write will not cast me in a bad light and mutterings of ‘she’s lost the plot’ because alas, I really did. However, it did not stop me from enjoying this offering of ‘Murder in the Dark’.

First of all let me acknowledge the superb cast. All were at their best and I can honestly say no one actor stood out from the rest, although it is often hard not to feel biased toward familiar faces if, like me, you are a regular TV viewer. With that in mind I was particularly biased toward Tom Chambers and Susie Blake, the former having appeared in Holby, Casualty, Emmerdale, Midsomer Murders and much more. Susie has appeared in Casualty, Mrs Brown’s Boys and as Beverley Unwin in Coronation Street, to name but a few.

I found the character of Bill quite charismatic although I did not recollect seeing Owen Oakeshott in two of my favourite TV series, Outlander and House of the Dragon. I feel a weird need to apologise although I would defy anyone to have remembered him dressed as he was in sombre suit and tie. In previous reviews of Palace Theatre productions I have mentioned finding it hard to hear the cast, but even sitting in the dress circle for this performance I was able to follow every word (though it did not help with my understanding of what was going on!)

Finally, the set was much improved by the standards of previous plays I have seen at the venue. Even a subtle set change whilst the play continued did not distract and was quite cleverly done.

So, you are asking, why was I confused? Well it is no secret that this was a spooky offering and there were more than a couple of instances where I did jump at the unexpected. Even though all seemed normal for a significant time I had the sense that change was in the wind. As the reveal slowly took place I found myself questioning what had gone before as, to me at least, the explanation did not seem logical. But here I must stress that I have a very questioning logical mind and find my brain will sometimes not accept what my eyes are showing me.

To me this play had an air of the Bruce Willis film, Sixth Sense, about it. A story of a boy who sees dead people and it puzzles you all the way through until the outcome; and even then you find yourself replaying in your head to see if that outcome is correct. Had I been clever enough to write this play myself I might have titled it ‘Death in the Dark’ as I felt ‘Murder in the Dark’ was a slight misnomer.

Apart from all the aforesaid I was thoroughly entertained and enjoyed watching a play where there were significantly more actors on stage than in previous theatre outings to the Palace.

Piqued your interest? Well I suggest you catch it while you can and allow yourself to be entertained, even if a little confused.


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