A SUPER set of characters were brought to life on the stage when Agatha Christie’s classic The Hollow was put on at the Norbury Theatre.
The first half set the scene perfectly as the different guests arrived at the home of Sir Henry and Lady Lucy Ankatell.
The wonderful chemistry between the characters was such that it captured the atmosphere of the party perfectly – with a mix of traditional English country life situations and uncomfortable scenarios, mainly created through arrogant John Cristow and his Lothario love links.
In the same way the first half perfectly set the scene, the hook just before the interval and the second section were when this piece truly came into its own.
The way after the break the characters were taken off to be interrogated or were quizzed on stage enabled different one-on-one conversations shedding light on each individual and keeping the audience guessing.
And the intriguing conclusion had those watching on the edge of their seats.
Alan Woollaston was brilliant as Cristow and Paul Bellamy was equally wonderful as Sir Henry who did everything he could for a quiet life under his roof. The audience empathised with him and the goings on he was powerless to control at his stately home.
Susan Wyld-Bennett was solid as film star Veronica Craye and likewise Matthew Jeffrey as Edward.
But the performances of the evening went to Sophie Wick as Henrietta and Barbara Wright as absent-minded Lucy.
Wick’s scene in the second act with her outpouring of grief for the deceased Cristow was so breathtakingly full of emotion you could hear a pin drop in the auditorium.
Wright’s portrayal of the forgetfulness and eccentric mannerisms provided the light among the dark and plenty of laugh out loud moments.
As the crowd dispersed there was praise aplenty with many saying they had had no clue who the killer was – just like a magnificent murder mystery should be.
* The remaining performances of The Hollow take place at 7.30pm on Thursday, next Friday and Saturday (March 30 and 31 and April 1).
Tickets are £11 (£10 concessions), available at www.norburytheatre.co.uk or by calling 01905 770154.