Sleuth UK Tour at Malvern Theatres - Review

Sleuth UK Tour at Malvern Theatres - Review


Posted 2024-04-08 by Alison in Birmingham follow

Mon 08 Apr 2024 - Sat 20 Apr 2024

As psychological thrillers go, Sleuth is up there with the best. It won a Tony Award for Best Play and ran for 12 years across London's West End and Broadway in New York - and now it's back for a new generation to enjoy.

I hadn't seen Sleuth before, so was coming into the story fresh for its new UK tour to Malvern Theatres . The Bill Kenwright production stays there from Monday April 8 until Saturday April 13 before continuing on to Cheltenham's Everyman from April 15 to 20.

Anthony Shaffer’s story this time stars former EastEnders actor Neil McDermott and Todd Boyce, who famously played villain Stephen Reid in Coronation Street. They are men on opposite sides of the class and age divide who end up in a psychological duel, fighting over the same woman and for their dignity.

Sleuth is a show made for whodunnit lovers. Not just the story itself but the in-jokes and running commentary around murder mysteries of a certain age, Agatha Christie and the like. It manipulates, puzzles and throws in plenty of red herrings while also examining the mentality of the crime writer.

The plot is centred around ageing murder mystery novelist Andrew Wyke (Boyce) and we join him in his country mansion dotted with sinister-looking puppets including a menacingly large mechanical life-size clown. He's working out a murderous plot in the opening scene in a rather self-satisfying fashion and you can tell Boyce is having fun playing this macabre, eccentric character.

He's invited around McDermott's Milo Tindle, a younger and more attractive man, who has been seeing his wife, and so the games begin. I don't want to spoil any of the twisty plot but it's fair to say this will keep you guessing time and time again.

Both men hold their own on stage although from what I gather, the class difference isn't as notable as in the movie of the same name starring Laurence Olivier and a young Michael Caine.

Directing the show is award-winning Rachel Kavanaugh, who earned a reputation for work with The RSC and Chichester Festival Theatre. She keeps this clever psychological thriller fast-paced.

Boyce is commanding and slick in what's a wordy and cynical role. While McDermott is energetic and vibrant as the underdog who gets more than he bargained for.

For those with a theatre programme, check it again after you've seen the finale and you'll notice some more puzzles to solve.

Sleuth is a satisfying, twisted psychological thriller that has stood the test of time in this well thought out, thoroughly enjoyable new production.

RATING: 4 out of 5 stars

Tickets for Sleuth cost from £25.76 from the Malvern Theatres website here .
 !date 08/04/2024 -- 20/04/2024
282930 - 2024-04-08 13:04:04


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