Fringe Box



Review: Go Back for Murder – Yvonne Arnaud Theatre

Published on: 12 Mar, 2013
Updated on: 12 Mar, 2013
Go Back For Murder - Photo Idil Sukan

Go Back For Murder – Photo Idil Sukan

by The Stage Dragon

Will, I wonder, even the most ardent Agatha Christie fans be able to guess ‘whodunit?’

It’s definitely a challenge, but an enjoyable one, that ‘The Official Agatha Christie Theatre Company’ offers us. They have returned to the Yvonne Arnaud with their new production of Go Back For Murder.

The show runs until Saturday the March 16th, and judging by the size of the audience on the opening night, Guildford definitely enjoys a good detective story. The show is one of Christie’s last plays and probably not one of her greatest. But the audience was treated to a first class interpretation, with brilliant acting and directing.

The story centres around Carla Le Marchant, a young women who has recently learned the shocking truth about her parents deaths; her mother was sent to (and subsequently died in) prison for murdering her father. She has been given a letter from her mother which begs her innocence, but can she possibly go back and prove this after 20 years?

No more of the story will I give away, but the main theme of the story is an interesting one: how reliable is evidence based purely on memories and testimony? A theme definitely as relevant now as it was in the 1960s.

…it really does not disappoint as its plot twists and turns…

For me the first half did drag a little, Carla enjoys many cups of tea with the five witnesses who recount quite similar tales. It is rather a long-winded way to set the scene. The second half does make up for it though, with the actors performing a flashback of the events of the day of the murder, 20 years ago, allowing many long kept secrets and omissions to come to light.

The cast was fantastic, there was no noticable weak link and they were a joy to watch in the large group scenes. A particular highlight was Sophie Ward, who played Carla and also her mother in the flashback scenes. She was able to be both a serene and calm housewife, classic of the 1940s era, as well as a spirited young thing of the 1960s with a defiant and determined streak.

The play was given a fantastic 60s vibe through detailed and well planned costumes, set design, and choice of music. It was great to see an Agatha Christie play set in this landmark decade, most of her well known works are set earlier. It was interesting to see her classic storytelling devices used in a more modern setting.

Certainly no one I went with was able to guess the outcome of the play, and it really does not disappoint as its plot twists and turns. A very enjoyable evening once again at the Yvonne Arnaud.

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