After arriving at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre on a cold Tuesday night to a very busy theatre, I became a little more than excited to see Deathtrap. Never truly sold on thrillers, it takes a lot to get me excited and guessing ‘whodunit?’ or ‘who’ll do it’.
This new production of Ira Levin’s Tony-nominated classic thriller Deathtrap is currently on tour, and continues to hold the record as the longest running thriller in Broadway history. This spine-chiller stars Paul Bradley as Sidney Bruhl and Jessie Wallace as Myra Bruhl, who you’d know from the role of ‘Kat Slater’ in EastEnders.
So, what’s it about? Sidney Bruhl, a once-successful writer of stage thrillers, is in the grip of chronic writer’s block, when young playwright Clifford Anderson sends Bruhl his brilliant new whodunit, Deathtrap. Desperate to set Broadway alight once more, should Bruhl kill the newcomer and pass the play off as his own?
As the play started, I was a little taken back with Jessie’s accent. I guess I was expecting Kat Slater voice that I was used too. You very quickly learn who the actors are as they set the scene. There was only one set throughout, which actually felt rather inviting, with its high beams of an old barn, fireplace, writers desk, movie posters, books and weapons, giving you the feeling that you were there at home with them.
It would be wrong of me to give to much of the plot away with its twists and turns. I was very pleased with myself for guessing one of the twists and my friend guessed another; but the rest kept me on the edge of my seat as we watched the story unfold.
Sidney Bruhl (Paul Bradley) and Myra Bruhl (Jessie Wallace) relationship didn’t gel for me onstage as much as I would have liked; but maybe that’s the kind of marriage they had, plus the fact she wasn’t happy with her husband actions.
The comical element of the play was a psychic neighbour Helga ten Dorp, Beverley Klein. She was genius and completely over the top as she kept the audience laughing from one moment to the next. I also burst out laughing at Sidney Bruhl’s (Paul Bradley) scene at the beginning of Act II, when he tried to get into a locked draw to take a sneeky peak at Clifford Anderson’s work.
Bruhls’ lawyer, played by Julien Ball, brings energy to the play. As well as the young playwrighter Clifford Anderson, Sam Phillips, who stole the show for me. He clearly lived and breathed his role, bringing it to life.
When a play, with only one set and 5 characters, has you believing them and the storyline to the point that the twists surprise you, then it definitely ticks all the boxes.
Just don’t forget to look over your shoulder on your way home!
Deathtrap runs until Saturday 23rd September at the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre. Tickets are available fromhttp://www.atgtickets.com/venues/aylesbury-waterside-theatre or call the Box Office on 0844 871 7607.