|The Gentle Hook|
You can see The Gentle Hook at the Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage from 11 - 16 October, 2004.
Box Office: 08700 131 030
If you look forward to sitting back with a cuppa on a Sunday night in front of Midsommer Murders or Rosemary and Thyme, then you will really enjoy The Gentle Hook.
For although an air of suspense hung over this murder mystery, there is also something very comforting about this kind of thriller. Brits know what to expect from, and always enjoy, a good old-fashioned ‘whodunnit’ and judging by the amount of ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ at the Gordon Craig Theatre in Stevenage this week, this audience were no exception!
|Use the right hand link for Gareth Hunt interview|
Francis Durbridge is one of Britain’s leading thriller writers and in this play he weaves a complicated plot that slowly unravels over the evening, bring the aforementioned ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ along with it!
The plot revolves around successful career woman Stacey Harrison who, on returning from a trip abroad, is attacked in the living room of her flat by a stranger and in the ensuing struggle kills him. Whether or not he is a stranger to her is the big question that the rest of the night revolves around.
Then there’s a second killing, an attempt at a third plus numerous revelations before the mysteries are finally resolved.
It’s an intricate murder plot full of genuine surprises and it did make me jump. But in the end it was this well-crafted build-up that let me down a little at the end. With a constant flow of twists and turns in every scene, I was expecting one final massive one to really shock me – and it never came.
Or it could have been because I did struggle to hear some of the words during the key exposition scenes and I did lose the plot somewhat towards the end. So there could have been a final shock – I just didn’t get it!
Nevertheless, when all’s said and done, this play tells a good story that kept me interested right to the end, and together with some good performances, it makes for an entertaining night out.
As the central character of the troubled businesswoman Stacey Harrison, Deborah Grant gives a strong performance, nicely complemented by Gareth Hunt as her husband.
Along with the rest of the audience, I really enjoyed a mischievous performance from Tony Scannell as ‘toff’ Gerald Waddington, who reminded me of that Fast Show character who says, ‘with my reputation’ – can’t remember his name!
However, if when sitting back with a cuppa on a Sunday night in front of Midsommer Murders or Rosemary and Thyme, you like to discuss the intricacies of the plot with your partner during the scenes and make guesses as to ‘whodunnit’, then please try NOT to do this in the theatre. Please!