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Murder at The Talisman

Paul Rigg (Alan Wales) and Harry Kent (Des McCann) no longer see eye-to-eye. Photo by Robert Warner.

Murder by Misadventure at The Talisman Theatre, Kenilworth, from 6 to 11 November 2023. Directed by Dave Crossfield.

Review by Ann Evans

Curiouser and curiouser! That’s Murder by Misadventure at The Talisman Theatre, Kenilworth. What begins as a normal disagreement between two award-winning murder mystery writers, takes you down a twisted path to a situation that inevitably leads to murder.

Successful writers, Harry Kent (Des McCann) and Paul Riggs (Alan Wales) have spent ten years working together, collaborating on their plays and TV thriller series but now one of them wants a break from their work partner – while the other one doesn’t. The more they discuss it, the more adamant they become in their own determination to get their own way - no matter what.

Harry and Emma at his desk. (Des McCann and Ruth MacCallum). Photo by Robert Warner.

Harry’s wife Emma (Ruth MacCallum) is stuck between these squabbling scriptwriters, trying to keep the peace. And gradually it's no longer just an argument, things start to get nasty; dark secrets start to come out; anger and frustration raise their ugly heads, and before you know it there’s murder in the air.

The play takes place in Harry and Emma’s luxury high rise apartment overlooking the cliffs and the sea. It appears that they are the only people living in these apartments, additionally, there seems to be something spooky going on. The building was built on some sort of sacrificial stone where black magic was practiced, there are noises in the night and things uncannily move from place to place.

Two writers at war! Photo by Robert Warner.

Harry is the more serious and sensible of the two writers, whereas Paul is the heavy drinker and the playboy of the two. Paul may be the one to come up with the fantastic ideas for their work, but it takes Harry’s hard graft to get it actually written.

It’s amidst this atmosphere that Harry and Paul grow to hate one another. And that’s when these two playwrights really get down to business.

A crime does take place but what seems like a straight-forward crime turns out to be anything but. There’s deception, lies, deceit, confusion. But who’s lying to who? Who can be trusted – if anyone?

Inspector Egan (Christopher Stanford). Photo by Robert Warner.

If I’m being a bit vague and ambiguous, it’s deliberate! Last night’s play was brilliant! The plot was full of twists and turns and absolutely intriguing and I wouldn’t dream of giving the game away by sneaking snippets of the storyline or warning you of any shocks and surprises. That’s for you to experience if you’re lucky enough to have tickets as the show is, I believe, a complete sell out.

You certainly won’t be disappointed. Fabulous acting from start to finish. The actors were word perfect and held your attention throughout. And as for the dastardly crime, to coin an old phrase, the plot thickens. The arrival on the scene of Police Inspector Egan played with humour and wit by Christopher Stanford only adds to the mystery. I shall say no more!

I can guarantee that if you love a good mystery that isn’t afraid to bring plenty of humour into the script along with ominous and sinister undertones – plus a plot that will keep you guessing and on the edge of your seats until the very last moment, you’ll love this. I know I did.

For more details and to book tickets for The Talisman’s next productions call the Box Office on 01926 856548 or go to:


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