Photograph by Activate Digital

The Menlove Avenue Murder Mystery is a homage to television’s classic crime capers and their infamous detectives.

When Eddie’s neighbour suddenly passes away, he suspects there’s more to the story than meets the eye. With the help of his family and his daughter’s University friend Josh, they set out to discover what really happened in the house next door.

Gerry Linford’s latest production is a clever caper full of twists and turns. It isn’t a simple ‘Who done it?’ – it’s more of a ‘Who, when and what happens next?’.

Throughout the play you are constantly wanting to get to the bottom of the story, only for another surprising mystery to unfold. It’s a clever piece of stagecraft and although the first act seemed slower in pace than the second, the story flowed well to its brilliant climax.

The witty references to classic television shows such as The Rockford Files and Kojak were just the first chapter in this tale. The set design’s attention to detail was superb, with photographs of Columbo and more adorning Eddie’s house.

However, the icing on the cake was Liam Tobin’s performance as one of the greatest detectives of time. It was, without a doubt, like watching the real thing. I’m not going to ruin it for you and say who he plays, but I will say it deserved a standing ovation all of its own.

Photograph by Activate Digital

Tobin and Gillian Hardie’s double act as couple Martin and Greta left me with tears of laughter. Everytime they were onstage, either together or apart, all I could do was smile. Their witty dialogue delivery was equally matched by their physical comedy. As the series of events unfolded during act two, the duo heightened the pace with superb comedic performances (particularly during the flashback scene), that had the audience’s laughter growing louder and louder by the minute.

Another brilliant duo was the unlikely coupling of amateur detective Eddie (Paul Duckworth) and his daughter’s University friend, the budding Criminologist Josh (Michael Peace). Not only did they have fabulous mystery inspired t-shirts, their combination of wits was like Sherlock and Watson meets The Scooby Gang. They each delivered one-liners that in some way, lit the spark that led them to the next clue in their investigation. It was thrilling to watch.

Joined by Trish (Pauline Fleming) and Phoebe (Olivia Sloyan), this quartet were as brilliant as any detective team you’d see on tv.

The Menlove Avenue Murder Mystery is a five star production full of thrills, twists and turns that will leave you hanging onto the edge of your seat.

Oh and just one more thing…

It’s a show not to be missed.

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