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Manchester theatre reviews

Go Back for Murder

Go Back for Murder

by Agatha Christie

at Altrincham Garrick Theatre

Reviewed by Johanna Hassouna-Smith, January 2018

 

Agatha Christie’s classic 1960 play has been revived with great success by the Altrincham Garrick Playhouse. Before dying in prison for supposedly poisoning her husband fifteen years ago, Caroline Crale wrote a letter to her daughter Carla professing her innocence. Carla aided by Justin Fogg, a young solicitor, persuades those present on that fatal day to return to the scene of the crime to find out what really happened.



The two act play, cross cuts between past and present to tell the story. At times, it is Christie’s writing which lets the play down, with the first act being a series of duologues retelling events of the past. Although the actors might have sped up the dialogue in this, the repetition of expository conversations felt tedious toward the end of the act. The second half re-enacts the fateful day as the characters recall events through flashback, voiceover narration and some spot-lit monologues. For this reason, the second half had more energy and pace and was undeniably more entertaining.


The play, is a classic 1960s Crime Drama and the design team have done a marvellous job of transporting us to the era. The detailing of the floral back drop of act one was really eye catching and set the scene perfectly upon entering this large auditorium. Act two began with a fabulous reveal of a stunning naturalistic set of the apartment where the murder took place. The use of space was expertly presented with numerous areas for secret liaisons and spying on one another. This was a really impressive sight to behold and a joy to watch the actors ‘play the stage’.

 



For an amateur production, the acting was fantastic and all of the cast clearly explored their roles through imaginative interpretations. The standout performer of the evening was definitely Parissa Zamanpour, in the role of Carla, Caroline Crale’s daughter. Her Canadian accent and subtle reactions, really brought a sense of sophistication to this naturalistic crime drama. Zamanpour’s Drama training was on full show as her disciplined performance really lit up the stage, despite being burdened with some drab scenes in the writing of her role.



Go Back for Murder will run until Saturday 3rd February at the Garrick Playhouse. It is a typical Who Dunnit Crime Drama that will satisfy fans of Christie’s work. There is some wonderful set design, stand out performances and some gloriously fiendish characters.

 
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