Verdict review

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THIS untraditional tale from the queen of crime is a change from her usual whodunnits.

Verdict is about a man who has a wheelchair-bound wife and has an amorous and rich young pupil. But when both end up dead, it is the man’s mistress that gets accused of his wife’s murder.

Agatha Christie’s last original play is not a whodunnit with the murder taking place at the end of act one and the audience knows who did it.

The fun then comes in the aftermath and this is where Verdict is at its strongest. The tense scenes of Robert Duncan’s Karl Hendryk waiting for the result of the criminal case are at times heart-breaking and difficult to watch.

But the rest of the show is pure Christie at her best. Surprise twists, gorgeous sets and a cast of posh actors and actresses having a joyous time bring the whole thing to life. Particularly impressive is Emmerdale star Susan Penhaligon as the mistress and Holly Goss who plays spoilt brat Helen Rollander.

The first act takes a little time to truly get going and some of the European accents are better realised than others.

But getting over these problems, my verdict on this production is a tale which will delight Christie’s fanatics.

Verdict plays at Milton Keynes Theatre until Saturday. Tickets are available from the box office on 0844 871 7652.

By Steve Mills