We now start to think of the future and on to our next big production, ‘This Secret Isle’, for November 2024.
But first, a moment’s reflection on our success with ‘Agatha Crusty and the Health Spa Murders’ for which we received a very positive review. Well done to everyone involved in putting this play on the stage, and many thanks to everyone who came along to see it. We tried a new seating arrangement which fitted well with the long stage and the health spa environment. It seemed to please more people than not, but as it was particularly suited to this play, it may be a little while before we try it again. The photo below shows the happy cast, no prizes for picking out which one was the villain!
Sylvia Coates attended a performance and prepared a production review on behalf of NODA (National Operatic and Dramatic Organisation NODA). As you will read below, it is very positive and encouraging; thank you Sylvia!
Company : Double Act
Production: Agatha Crusty and The Health Spa Murders
Date: Friday 24th November 2023
Seen by: Sylvia Coates (on behalf of Martin Stephen)
Venue: Corfe Castle Village Hall
Double Act entertained an appreciative audience to an evening of murder, mayhem and a fair few chuckles: seated at café tables with healthy nibbles, motivational slogans on the walls, steaming aromatherapy lamps and a many-buttoned vintage hi-fi system (essential for all those audio cues), the audience was transported to the ostensibly wholesome world of the health spa.
Double Act made good use of the space, the low stage ensuring that the audience was not just adding to the ambience but was closely connected to the action and able to hear every word. Lighting was used effectively and unobtrusively to create the cool, almost sterile atmosphere of the health farm and to add the quick flicker of flash photography. The sound department was kept busy and provided good quality effects and music. Costumes were appropriate for each character: the ladies from the fashion house looking particularly stylish; the Russian therapist resplendent in a Cossack outfit; and the detective a very smart and feminine Sherlock Holmes (love the hat).
Characterisation was clear and largely sustained: Adam Eden (Dougal Dixon) was a rather dry owner of the Spa; the audience enjoyed the off-stage antics of Dmitri Popov (Barry Stocks) the ladies of the fashion house conveyed the banter and bickering of a group of women who work together and find themselves flung into a more social context; Agatha Crusty (Judith Jenkins) applied her best matter-of-fact manner to discover the murderer, interacting well with other characters and the audience; Detective-Inspector Sally Aster (Lindsay Dixon) hindered her progress admirably and with great energy; whilst Ruth Eden (Mary Newcombe) stole much of the limelight with her excellent presentation of a wordless, wilful teenager breaking through parental boundaries; Abigail Griggleswick (Eliane Jarvis) was very well-cast as the lead health therapist, her energy and fluid, flexible physicality suited the role perfectly.
A humorous and entertaining production, enhanced by the comfortable ambience and creative setting – well done, Double Act.