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30th Jun, 2022

Norbury brings to life An Appointment With Death

Droitwich Editorial 24th Sep, 2015 Updated: 17th Oct, 2016

AN APPOINTMENT With Death at Droitwich’s Norbury Theatre made both entertaining and enthralling viewing.

A catalogue of colourful of characters, brought to life by a talented cast, had the audience captivated for the duration.

Set in the Middle East, it centres around a group of people thrown together by the fact they are staying in the same hotel – from a weird American family to an English lady, a highly acclaimed French psychologist, a somewhat common Yorkshireman, an English doctor and the native staff.

The three-act play started off gently as the scene was set but the portrayals of the characters getting to know each other and interaction between them kept it interesting and paved the way for the pacier concluding scenes.

There were some fantastic performances, depicting some very powerful characters.

Melanie Brown excelled in the role of the posh and pompous Lady Westholme and there was some great conflicts between her and Alderman Higgs, played well by Alan Wollaston.

That relationship provided plenty of comedy moments during the show but the bulk of the humour came from the Dragoman. He was played brilliantly by Keith Barrell, who would not have looked out of place in some of the set-abroad Carry On films. With the over-the-top stereotypical approach, he had the crowd in hysterics at times.

There is nothing worse than watching theatre players with questionable accents, but there was no danger of that here. Whether it was American, French, upper class English, Yorkshire or others, they were all of a high standard and the actors had clearly done their homework and put in plenty of rehearsal time.

The pick of these was Paul Bellamy who was amazing as the French Dr Gerard. The chemistry between him and Hetty Bentley as Dr Sarah King was impeccable and great to watch.

But it was Glynis Smith as the dominant and somewhat callous Mrs Boynton who stole the show.

You could tell by the audience’s reactions how good her portrayal was of a character who has her heart set on psychologically torturing her own family.

Agatha Christie has, of course, become renowned for producing excellent murder mysteries and this is a fine example of her work – with less than an hour to go, you wondered how it was all going to end but then the mystery unravels and, with a suitably clever twist, it all becomes clear.

There is also another – more comical – twist at the conclusion which gave a welcome boost to the feelgood finale.

Usually, An Appointment With Death is something most of us would not relish, but this one is well worth a watch.

The remaining performances take place at 7.30pm on Friday (September 25) and Saturday (Septemner 26).

Tickets, at £10 (£9 for concessions), are available online at norburytheatre.co.uk or by calling the box office on 01905 770154.

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