The HollowFebruary 2016
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The Hollow - by Agatha Christie
Performance Dates - Wednesday 10th to Saturday 13th February 2016
An unhappy game of romantic follow-the-leader explodes into murder one weekend at The Hollow, home of Sir Henry and Lucy Angkatell. Dr. Cristow is at the center of the trouble when his mistress Henrietta, ex-mistress Veronica, and wife Gerda, simultaneously arrive at The Hollow. Also visiting are Edward (who is in love with Henrietta) and Midge (who loves Edward). Veronica ardently desires to marry Cristow and succeeds in reopening their affair but is unable to get him to divorce his wife. Veronica unwisely states that if she cannot have him, no one shall. Within five minutes Cristow is dead. Nearly everyone has a motive and most had the opportunity. Enter Inspector Colquhoun and Sergeant Penny to solve the crime.
This production run attracted substantial audiences, demonstrating that a murder mystery by the “queen of crime” still has the potential to draw people into the theatre. Sensitively interpreted by Jo Warrick making her directing debut, particular attention was given to style and format, with the action taking place on a well-designed and constructed set very much furnished according to the period in which the play was written. There was considerable application by all the cast to produce super characterisation. The pairing of Stuart Bull, as the distinguished Sir Henry, with Abby Johnson as his eccentric and forgetful wife Lady Angkatell, worked extremely well. Melissa Poulson (appearing with clay on her hands and face) was really impressive as sculptor Henrietta Angkatell and Rachel Rowett was the kind and helpful Midge Harvey who worked in a dress shop! Kei Bailey displayed diffidence and aristocratic reserve as Edward Angkatell, a distant cousin of Sir Henry, who has been devoted to Henrietta for years. Matthew Barnes, as Harley Street doctor, John Cristow, portrayed the manner and self-confidence one would expect of a person in his position, which was very much in contrast with Gerda, his seemingly weak and worrying wife, played by Kathryn Kibby. Jo Warrick was the brash and brazen film star Veronica Craye, a previous lover of John Cristow. Peter Kay as the competent Inspector Colquhoun was ably assisted by Julian Warrwick as Detective Sergeant Penny. Robert Green was the immaculately attired servile butler, Gudgeon. Katy Tabor played the part of Doris, a trainee maid, and although this was a minor speaking part her facial expressions and body language spoke volumes. The standard of costumes was excellent and the stage crew provided first class support. Thank you all who were involved in delivering this theatrical treat.
Peter Breach, NODA