Max Bentley is a well-respected veteran actor with the title role in a television detective series which is about to be axed. Take this as the main motive, add the fact that he is in debt and easily distracted by the opposite sex, and there we have the foundations of writer Douglas McFerran’s plot to this world premiere.
Michael Lumsden is faultlessly cast as Bentley, a licentious silver fox who has always had women falling for him. Lumsden is casually natural in the role, easily managing the balance of dramatic irony, comedy and murderous panic.
The rest of the cast appear overly melodramatic in the first half but, as the characters develop, their histrionics become more justified and the plot progresses with several surprising twists and turns that lead to a satisfying conclusion.
There are some light-hearted comedic lines which the cast deliver sharply and the premeditated murders are exaggerated within the boundaries of sensationalism, bringing the play very much into the “comedy thriller” genre.
Of the remaining cast, Jessica Claire is the psychotic journalist Rosie Reed, Sarah Berger plays Max’s pot-smoking hippy wife Hermione, Zoe Lister is the perfidious Joy Pendleton and Simon Naylor portrays the undercover detective Josh Vivian.
We need your help…
When you subscribe to The Stage, you’re investing in our journalism. And our journalism is invested in supporting theatre and the performing arts.
The Stage is a family business, operated by the same family since we were founded in 1880. We do not receive government funding. We are not owned by a large corporation. Our editorial is not dictated by ticket sales.
We are fully independent, but this means we rely on revenue from readers to survive.
Help us continue to report on great work across the UK, champion new talent and keep up our investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account. Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue.