Death in High Heels, Priory Theatre, until April 8
This play, written by Richard Harris, is an adaptation of the 1941 novel by Christianna Brand, doyenne of British crime writers.
The action takes place in the backroom of Christophe et Cie, a small haute couture house in London in 1937. The big day arrives when the manager Frank Bevan will be announcing who will be going to France to be the new manager of the branch in Deauville.
There is much rivalry among the hierarchy of competitive sales ladies who deliver some wonderfully bitchy and sarcastic lines along with ‘Dorian Pouvier’, the deliciously camp male assistant.
When one member of staff dies as a result of eating a rabbit curry, generously laced with oxalic acid crystals, everyone is under suspicion. I didn’t envy Inspector Charlesworth or the excellent Sergeant Wyler in their subsequent enquiries as there seemed to be potential motives for all of the employees!
The first Act moved swiftly along with countless, well timed entrances and exits and with all the parts gleefully played by a talented cast.
Act 2 revolves around the subsequent police investigation that slowly unearths a number of secrets, lies and deceptions.
It was a classic ‘who done it’ which held the attention of an enthusiastic and appreciative audience.
The set, the incidental music and the props all had an authentic and nostalgic feel to them and the general atmosphere was enhanced by references to the significant world events of the late 1930s.
For those who enjoy murder mysteries containing some splendidly comic lines this production is well worth seeing but you’d better get your heels off and your skates on – I understand there aren’t many tickets left!