Shaun McKenna’s adaption of Peter James’ The Perfect Murder is a real triumph, so make sure you get down to the Lace Market Theatre while you have the chance.
A warring couple, Victor (Ian Currie) and Joan (Jemma Froggitt), has been married for 20 years. The loveless relationship is monotonous and bitter. So, when Victor decides to elope with his lover, Kamila (Sophie Owen), he knows he must first kill his wife… But you might want to hold onto your seat for this play, as there are more than a few twists in store.
Firstly, I must comment on the hilarious script-writing and delivery of The Perfect Murder. Currie and Froggitt portrayed a very believable unhappy marriage brought to the extremes, and made it down right hilarious. Their sharp, witty dialogue and great banter was perfectly timed. Likewise Joan and her own lover Don (Steve Mitchell) had the crowd roaring with laughter when the art of disposing of a corpse goes from bad to worse.
However, the comedy is well balanced with an alarming unpredictability; I had no idea what to expect, and the play left me guessing until the very end. The macabre humour in the final scenes only adds to how chilling a well-planned murder can be. The cast brought to life every pivotal moment, which left me waiting eagerly for more.
In particular, I was thoroughly impressed with Jemma Froggitt’s portrayal of Joan. Her witty episodes with her husbands had me in tears of laughter; I genuinely sympathised with her during her interrogation scenes with Constable Grace (Matthew Finkel), and shrank into my seat from her bloodcurdling screams.
There is something special and wonderful about amateur theatre and it is a shame how often it can be overlooked. The Perfect Murder is an excellent example of some superb acting from a smaller theatre company. Monday night was completely sold out, so you may be lucky to get those tickets after all!
The Perfect Murder plays at the Lace Market Theatre until Saturday 27 May 2017.
Voted the nation's favourite play in a 2013 poll, Alan Bennett's 2004 stage classic set in a Sheffield grammar school in the 1980s remains both funny and thought-provoking.