COMEDY and crime are a classic combination and come together in a truly terrific play.
The Perfect Murder tells the story of long time married couple Victor and Joan Smiley. The former is getting attention from elsewhere and loathes Joan. Meanwhile Joan is bored stiff by Victor’s irritating ways.
The marriage has reached crisis point and Victor decides on a way of getting rid of Joan. But he is in for a very nasty surprise.
There are some very clever ideas in this show. And writer of the original novella Peter James has had his story adapted well for the stage by Shaun McKenna.
There are some fantastic one liners and funny moments. Unlike most crime when there are jokes, the play is not played for laughs and the scenes right at the end are genuinely disturbing. Indeed when the climax is revealed, all of the minor plot threads all weave together beautifully.
The five man cast perform the material well and all stand out in their own way.
Les Dennis playing Victor is a specialist in irritation and his obsession with crime paves the way for many of the later scenes.
Claire Goose’s Joan plays the put upon housewife to perfection and the snappy dialogue she has with Victor has the right amount of humour and tension.
There was plenty of wolf-whistles from the female members of the audience as Gray O’Brien’s entrance saw him walk around in his pants but his cockney swagger is a perfect contrast to the uptight married couple. The cast is completed ny the likeable and charming Steven Miller and Simona Armstrong.
This is a beautifully put together play and one which has laugh and scares in equal measures. In one word. Perfect.
Review by Steve Mills
The Perfect Murder is performed until Saturday. For tickets call the box office on 0844 871 7652 or visit www.atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes.