This latest show from New Old Friends, written by Feargus Woods Dunlop, is a new take on the shameless traducing of an Agatha Christie-style whodunnit – though in this crazed production, who actually dunnit is not the point. The point is to see how many laughs can be got out of just four actors playing fourteen characters in a ludicrously complicated plot. In this case, happily, a lot. Set on an unnamed island off the coast of the UK, the piece features a Belgian detective, a sort of cross between Poirot and Miss Marple, with a suitably over the top French accent; an Irish priest; several toffs; servants male and female; ladies with nice hats; an Inspector and a surprising trio of policemen; and the most hysterical portrayal of a child by an adult actor you are likely to see. And, of course, the odd murder. This is high-energy stuff, and the pace never flags, indeed gets more intense as the show progresses, the plot complicates ever further, and the character/costume changes become more frenetic. But the cast are more than up to its demands. The gags, visual and verbal, come thick and fast, and this supremely talented quartet give a display of comic acting skill that it would be hard to see equalled anywhere. Delicious.




John Christopher Wood