Review: The Case of the Frightened Lady

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Company: The Classic Thriller Theatre Company
Production: The Frightened Lady by Edgar Wallace
Venue: Buxton Opera House
Date: Playing October 22nd – October 27th https://buxtonoperahouse.org.uk/event/the-case-of-the-frightened-lady
4/5 Stars

When Inspector Tanner is called in to investigate a ruthless murder at Mark’s Priory, the grand ancestral home of the Lebanon family, he quickly discovers that nothing is quite as it seems.

The household is controlled by the family physician, the footmen behave more like guests than servants and the secretary Isla is afraid for her life. As Tanner moves closer to the heart of the mystery he uncovers a shocking and closely guarded secret…

We start out at Lady Lebanon’s annual fancy dress party where we get a glance at all the characters. Lady Lebanon(Deborah Grant) talks grandly about the lineage in the family, trying to persuade her spoiled immature son(Matt Barber) to propose to her timid rather frightened niece Isla (Scarlett Archer). Mrs Tilling (Gwynfor Jones) and Studd (Joshua Wichard) steal a kiss insinuating an affair. Dr Amersham (Robert Duncan) seedily eyeing up the female staff whilst having a cryptic conversation with Lady Lebanon. Brook(Angus Brown) & Gilder(Simon Desborough) the footman not doing much but listening in the shadows and Kelver the butler(Philip Lowrie) keeping everything ticking along.

The party is in high spirits until Isla finds Studd strangled!

Chief superintendent Tanner (John Partridge) & Detective Sergeant Totti (Matt Lacey) arrive to try and solve the murder. As they start delving into the lives of the residents of Micheal’s Priory they uncover a number of suspicious incidents . Most of the men served in India at the same time but are very cagey about it,what secrets are they keeping? Lord Lebanon died not long before, but no one seems to know how he died. Why is Dr Aversham always there if he is just the family doctor, why does Isla always look on edge and what is in the locked store room that Lady Lebanon is adamant no one will go in.

With plenty of twists and turns and another murder thrown in for good measure tanner and Totti have there work cut out and it will keep you guessing till the end.

The stage setting is very well put together, which is good as the whole play is set in one room. The only downside was all the action seemed to take place off stage. Not quite as exciting as some of the previous murder mysteries I have seen, but still an entertaining night at the theatre.

Starring:

Deborah Grant Lady Lebanon
Robert Duncan Dr Amersham 
Matt Barber Lord Lebanon
Simon Desborough Gilder
John Partridge Chief Superintendent Tanner
Philip Lowrie Kelver
Matt Lacey Detective Sergeant Totti 
Rosie Thomson Mrs Tilling 
Angus Brown Brook 
Gwynfor Jones Tilling 
Scarlett Archer Isla 
Joshua Wichard Studd 

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