Fringe Box



Stage Dragon Review – A Judgement In Stone

Published on: 1 Feb, 2017
Updated on: 1 Feb, 2017

by Tricia Marcotti

It was another packed opening night at the Yvonne Arnaud where my companions and I saw an accomplished group of actors from the Classic Thriller Theatre Company performing Simon Brett’s and Antony Lampard’s adaption of Ruth Rendell’s A Judgement in Stone.

The staging of a large country house allowed the actors to give us the atmosphere of both the preamble to the murder and the post-murder investigation.

The cast of A Judgement In Stone at The Yvonne Arnaud

The cast of A Judgement In Stone at The Yvonne Arnaud Theatre.

As the play alternates between “pre” and “post” murder scenes, there are many changes of costume needed to get the sense of these differing times. The clever use of doors into unseen but not unheard rooms allows the actors to handle their costume changes adroitly.

Sophie Ward is very believable as the housekeeper Eunice Parchman. I felt sorry for Eunice at times during the evening, feeling she was downtrodden, but I don’t think that the script enabled the audience to understand how she had become the person we saw.

She becomes friendly with the postmistress Joan Smith (played by Deborah Grant), but otherwise keeps to herself. The postmistress, however, is a very lively lady with a very colourful past.

Mark Wynter (George Coverdale) was a delight to watch as he sang and talked his way through the play. George – a businessman, opera lover, proud father and stepfather, husband and lover – was also very sympathetic to others outside of his family group, wanting to help them do better for themselves.

Rosie Thomson as Jacqueline, George’s wife, made me feel exhausted as she “ran” around the stage. Jacqueline is a very busy woman! Not only does she run a business, she does her own cooking, orders the food, plans parties, is involved in charities, looks after her son Giles and stepdaughter Melinda (when they let her!), is a loving wife, and still has time to get involved in the lives of her staff. Phew!

Giles and Melinda played by Joshua Price and Jennifer Sims respectively, give credible performances as the young adults in the family.

As with any good murder mystery, you need a few policemen to catch the murderer. Well, there are two detectives and a PC in A Judgement in Stone!

Andrew Lancel (as Detective Superintendent Vetch), gives a competent, if slightly low key performance as the man in charge of the investigation. His Detective Sergeant (Ben Nealon) was a more lively character, not letting the suspects and witnesses pull any wool over his eyes.

The final two characters, the “daily” (Shirley Anne Field), and the gardener (Antony Costa) provide snippets of information to the police which the audience can use to try to identify the murderer.

Ably directed by Roy Marsden, this production of A Judgement in Stone is well worth a visit.

Go along to the Yvonne Arnaud for this five-star ‘who dunnit’ and have a go at catching a murderer before he murders again!

It runs until Saturday, February 4. Book online or call 01483 440000.


Share This Post

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *