Review Murder in the Dark, New Theatre,Cardiff by Jane Bissett

 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

Murder in the Dark was not exactly what I had expected and I did wonder by the early reaction of other theatre goers close by, if it had been what they had been expecting.

Wonderfully played out, this production had us drawn in by the end of the first scene.  Seldom have I been to any play that has had the ability, so quickly, to engage with an audience where you actually felt as if you are there, as part of the very story itself.

Without giving away any spoilers, the plot centres around Danny (Tom Chambers), a ‘famous’ musician who has been stranded on New Years eve following a car crash.  Mrs Bateman (Susie Blake) offers him an opportunity to stay overnight in her holiday let on a farm in the middle of nowhere.

What transpires next is a revelation into family relationships and the mysteries of the mind.

Brilliantly cast, with Rebecca Charles as Rebecca, Jonny Green as Jake and Owen Oakeshott as Will and Laura White as Sarah.  This tight group of actors certainly took us on a journey where none of us could have predicted the destination or outcome.  

I have never been to play where there was so much audience reaction with audible intakes of breath and laughter when the characters made comments that we could all have made in the circumstances they found themselves with laughter as light relief, or was it really to suppress the fear of the situation?? 

Written by Torben Betts, best known for his dark comedies of social embarrassment with a smattering of political commentary thrown in, this was departure from his usual writing.  

Directed by Philip Frank, this masterpiece of theatre was almost an immersive experience and I think best played in an intimate theatre space. The New Theatre, Cardiff, the ideal venue and assisted in helping create the an atmosphere and mood needed to enjoy this production to its fullest.

The design of the set as both realistic and clever and the designers, Simon Kenny for set and Max Papenheim for sound, created the perfect on stage environment for the telling of this particular tale.

Intrigued? Murder in the Dark Plays at the New Theatre until Saturday 2 March.

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