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Agatha Christie's Go Back For Murder - Birmingham New Alexandra Theatre

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Freelance journalist with a passion for theatre, the arts, food and books.
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Well-known cast in crime caper
With the final ever tale of Poirot screened on television in recent weeks, Agatha Christie fans may be feeling a little under the weather, but a who-dunnit by the Agatha Christie Theatre Company offers a live theatre experience by the Queen of Crime.

Go Back For Murder is one of Christie's last plays, which was based on the 1942 novel Five Little Pigs. It unfolds between the 1960s and 1940s as a young woman tries to prove that her mother did not kill her father.

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Go Back for Murder is a classic murder mystery by the Queen of Crime

Discovering that she was adopted and her real mother died in prison after being found guilty of murdering her philandering artistic husband, Carla Le Marchant embarks on an investigation to find out the truth.

With only a letter from her mother claiming she did not do the murder, Carla must track down everyone in the house on the day of the killing to piece together what happened and who got away with the murder.

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Plenty of red herrings in this murder mystery

A well-known cast of British actors take their turn as each of the suspects, including Liza Goddard as the prim governess, Robert Duncan and Antony Edridge as brothers who were friendly with the family, and Lysette Anthony as the dead man's highly-strung mistress.

Sophie Ward, who takes on two roles of both Carla Le Marchant and her mother (in flashbacks to the day of the murder 20 years earlier), is enchanting, while Gary Mavers is believable as painter Amyas Crale - the murder victim.

Ben Nealon, better known for his television roles in Soldier Soldier and Doctors, adds some romance to the proceedings as Carla's solicitor and detective side-kick Justin Fogg.

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Stylish costumes in Go Back For Murder

While the first half sets the scene and gives the audience a chance to meet the prime suspects, it is also slow and far too sedate with minimal scene and clothes changes.

It is worth sticking with it though as the second half comes to life and is much more gripping. There is also much more interaction between the characters as we see a flashback to the days surrounding the death.

And when it comes to twists, red herrings and motives, Christie doesn't disappoint with a clever manipulation of what people heard or didn't hear, which will keep you guessing until just before the final curtain.

Score: 6/10

Agatha Christie's Go Back For Murder
New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham - November 25 - November 30.
Tickets cost 11.90 - 47.40 from the Theatre's website or by calling 0844 8713011.
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Why? Who-dunnit by the Queen of Crime
When: From November 25 to November 30, 2013
Phone: 0844 8713011
Where: New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham
Cost: 11.90 - 47.40
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