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Rehearsal For Murder - New Alexandra Theatre Preview

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Freelance journalist with a passion for theatre, the arts, food and books.
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Killer Script Penned By Columbo Writers
Intriguing with clever twists, this murder mystery penned by the writers of TV shows Murder She Wrote and Columbo is a cut above the average touring thriller.

The Classic Thriller Theatre Company is performing Rehearsal For Murder as its debut production under the stewardship of Bill Kenwright.

Rehearsal for murder, uk tour, classic thriller theatre company
Rehearsal For Murder is a clever thriller

I caught the show early on in the UK tour at Malvern's Festival Theatre, ahead of its visit to Birmingham's New Alexandra Theatre in April. Here's a preview on what audiences can expect.

Rehearsal For Murder is a slick, clever who-dunnit that is set in an empty theatre. We see playwright Alex Dennison, who is grieving the supposed suicide of his actress fiance, call together a list of suspects on the anniversary of her death.

Gathering them together for a bogus read-through of his new play in a theatre, Dennison's real intentions are to reveal each of the characters' motives and unearth the killer.

The strong cast is led expertly by Robert Daws as Dennison - whose starred in many television roles from Poldark to The Royal. He's suitably emotional and determined to find his lover's murderer.

Robert daws, rehearsal for murder, theatre tour, classic thriller theatre company
Robert Daws leads a strong cast in Rehearsal For Murder

Script writers Richard Levinson and William Link have used their experience in television murder mysteries to move the action between flashbacks and the present time in this cleverly crafted story.

The script the suspects are reading transforms into scenes involving the victim, played by actress Amy Robbins, who has a natural rapport with Daws, probably as she played his screen wife in The Royal.

There's plenty of other ageing TV names adding fine support too - Susan Penhaligon of Bouquet Of Barbed Wire fame, Robert Duncan from Drop The Dead Donkey, Steven Pinder from Brookside - plus some younger cast members of Ben Nealon from Soldier, Soldier and Lucy Dixon from Waterloo Road.

Adding an aspect of self-awareness to the proceedings, there's references to plays within plays (like The Mousetrap and Hamlet) and it's not until the very end that you realise all the clues were laid out in front of you from the word go.

Rehearsal For Murder will be at Birmingham's New Alexandra Theatre from April 4 - 9.
Tickets cost from 16.90 from the theatre website.
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Why? See If You Can Guess Who-dunnit
When: April 4 - 9
Where: New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham
Cost: From 16
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