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Catch Me If You Can at The Alexandra, Birmingham - Review

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by Andy Coleman (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer living in Birmingham. I like Classic Rock, 70s pop music, football and interviewing celebrities. Follow me on Twitter: @andycoleman9
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Can you solve the mystery of the disappearing wife?
I like to think I'm pretty good at solving whodunnits and murder mysteries but I must admit that the twist at the end of Catch Me If You Can at Birmingham's Alexandra took me by surprise.

Based on a French play, it was written in 1965 by Jack Weinstock and Willie Gilbert and, despite still being set in the pre-internet era, it's totally worthy of its 21st-century revival.

Catch Me If You Can, The Alexandra Birmingham, Patrick Duffy, Linda Purl, Gray O'Brien, Theatre Review
Gray O'Brien, Patrick Duffy and Linda Purl in Catch Me If You Can (pic: Jack Merriman)


We find ourselves in a remote cabin in the Catskill mountains. Inspector Levine (Gray O'Brien) has been called to investigate the disappearance of Elizabeth, the new wife of Daniel Corban (Patrick Duffy), just two weeks after the wedding. Things begin to get baffling when a woman (Linda Purl) turns up saying she is Elizabeth Corban - but Daniel insists she is an imposter, despite her claims being supported by Catholic priest Father Kelleher (Ben Nealon).

Catch Me If You Can, The Alexandra Birmingham, Patrick Duffy, Linda Purl, Gray O'Brien, Theatre Review
Patrick Duffy hears Linda Purl claim she is his wife (Pic: Jack Merriman)


To reveal more of the plot would give the game away, but let's just say there are more twists and turns than a Formula 1 racing circuit. And every time you become convinced you know how it will end, it veers in another direction.

Along the way, there are some very funny lines, deftly delivered by the excellent cast. Patrick Duffy, best known for his roles in Dallas and Man From Atlantis, is totally believable as Daniel Corban, initially calm and controlled but gradually becoming more and more frustrated as the investigation appears to be going nowhere.

Catch Me If You Can, The Alexandra Birmingham, Patrick Duffy, Linda Purl, Gray O'Brien, Theatre Review
Totally believable: Patrick Duffy is Daniel Corban in Catch Me If You Can (Pic: Jack Merriman)


Linda Purl, who you may remember as Fonzie's girlfriend in Happy Days, confidently commands the stage, helping weave the ever more complicated web of claim and counter-claim.

The other main player is Coronation Street's Gray O'Brien who seems to have turned to TV detective Columbo as inspiration for his Inspector Levine. The trademark mannerisms and ever-present raincoat are there for all to see.

Catch Me If You Can? My advice is 'Catch It If You Can' - it's at The Alexandra till April 30.

Rating: ★★★★

Catch Me If You Can, The Alexandra Birmingham, Patrick Duffy, Linda Purl, Gray O'Brien, Theatre Review
Venue: The Alexandra, Birmingham
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Why? Top cast in entertaining mystery
When: April 25 - 30, 2022
Phone: 08448717627
Where: The Alexandra, Birmingham
Cost: From £13 plus fees
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