Review - The Secret Adversary at the Royal and Derngate, Northampton

Sophie Scott, Garmon Rhys, Morgan Philpott, Emerald O'Hanrahan, Elizabeth Marsh in The Secret Adversary
Sophie Scott, Garmon Rhys, Morgan Philpott, Emerald O'Hanrahan, Elizabeth Marsh in The Secret Adversary
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Featuring a cavalclade of colourful characters, a pair of Agatha Christie’s lesser known detectives come to the stage for an adventure.

The Secret Adversary sees Tommy and Tuppence investigating a cover up which goes right to the heart of the British government.

Tonally, this is a piece which veers from high farce to over the top melodrama within the space of seconds. This can make for a confusing watch at the best of the times.

The story is a reasonably interesting one, even if the detectives get involved in almost by accident. However with magic tricks, live music and dance routines, it is almost like everyone thought dressing up the story with these elements would make it more accessible to the audience. As an Agatha Christie fan, I just wanted them to tell the story, and that might have improved the pace.

It is very easy to praise Emerald O’Hanrahan as Tuppence who’s plucky tenacity is fantastically of the period. However as many of the actors are playing numerous parts, there is not enough of an attempt to differentiate each of the numerous characters they are playing.

It is a shame as there is a potentially excellent adaptation of one of Christie’s first novels in there waiting to get out. But it is neither sharp or clever enough to register anything more than polite appreciation.

The Secret Adversary is performed until today (Thursday). Tickets can be booked by calling the box office on 01604 624811 or by visiting www.royalandderngate.co.uk.

The show also comes to The Belgrade Theatre in Coventry from April 28 to May 2.