When it comes to a good whodunnit very few are as well known and popular than the brilliant C20th crime novel writer Agatha Christie.
Salisbury Playhouse is the well-chosen 517 seater venue for the latest adaptation of the play The Mirror Crack’d. The well-designed auditorium allows a good view of the stage from all the seating areas without any obstructions.
Actress Suzie Blake as seen below has been excellently cast in her role as the crime-solving sleuth Miss Marple and has everything we have come to expect from this character. Her calm exterior, a keen “pedantic” eye for the smallest of details and brilliant conclusion delivery when she draws the play to its conclusion is a pleasure to watch.
Miss Marple’s recovering from a fall as the play begins and the new chair bought for her by her nephew Cheif Inspector Craddock played by Simon Shepherd, is the focal point on this simply dressed set. This production has not relied on elaborate staging. As you can see in the photo below. The exceptional acting from the entire cast is the main focus at all times and they command their positions with what appears to be ease. Especially when they all manoeuvre around each other at the same time on stage during certain scenes with perfect timing.
Director Melly Still’s keen eye for detail in her cast often saw several scenes unfolding at once during key points. These were mainly during Miss Marple’s dialogues as she gathers her clues in the build-up to the murderer being uncovered.
Christie’s quintessentially Englishness has not been forgotten in this production. From the frequently requested cups of tea to subtle irony and humour. The attitudes towards lesbian relationships, unmarried mothers and divorcees very much place this play in the era in which it was written. Causing some uncomfortable mumours in the auditorium during certain scenes. However, as much as attitudes today have changed it is good to see the essence of this play wasn’t.
I was extremely impressed with Katherine Manners skilled timings as she reenacted the death of Heather Leigh towards the end of the play and fell almost exactly into the marked out body shape spot on the stage.
Details of where you can catch the latest brilliantly adapted production are detailed below. From a brief look at the performances here in Salisbury, it looks to be an almost full house for every show. Proving that the popularity of Agatha Christie is still very much alive.
Adapted for the stage
by Rachel Wagstaff
Direction by Melly Still
Set Design by Richard Kent
Costume Design by Dinah Collin
Lighting Design by Malcolm Rippeth
Music & Sound Design by Jon Nicholls.
Photo credit to Helen Murray.
First performance: 15 February 2019
Final performance: 6 April 2019
Local Press Performance: 20 February
15 February – 9 March 2019
Tickets on sale now
01722 320 333
12 March – 16 March 2019
Gaiety Theatre, Dublin
19– 23 March 2019
Cambridge Arts Theatre
26 March – 6 April 2019
New Theatre, Cardiff
029 2087 8889