Tuesday, 19 August 2008

The Business Of Murder Todd Carty Devonshire Park Theatre Eastbourne Review 19 Aug 2008

Todd Caty in The Business Of Murder - leaflets printed in a hurry because Stephen Becket, who was originally cast, appears in the programme


Todd Carty - Hallett
Nick Waring - Stone
Jacqueline Roberts - Dee

For play writer and TV script editor Richard Harris The Business Of Murder is his longest-running play.

The Success of BOM is not surprising given the fact there are only 3 characters in this murder mystery

and yet those characters have the ability to keep you guessing to the very end.

The Business Of Murder programme (features Stephen Beckett rather Todd Carty)The role of D.I. Hallett was

originally cast to former Coronation Street actor Stephen Beckett. Stephen, however, was already cast for another

murder mystery on tour - Murder with Love. The change was sudden so Stephen still appears in the theatre programme,

whilst some leaflets were hurridly printed featuring former Eastenders star Todd Carty.

It is a change that made no difference whatsoever to the quality of this intense thriller though. Todd is, of

course, no stranger to playing an officer of the law following his appearances in The Bill as PC Gabriel Kent.

Todd CartyThe role itself was not new to Todd either as he had undertaken it earlier in the year. However, in February 2008, in

the same play at Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage, Todd collapsed on stage. Some reports say he was also violently sick.

Subsequent news reports said it was a suspected heart attack. Fortunately it wasn't. Todd actually had a middle-ear infection and had run out of medication.

That was great news for him and good news for us to see such a super performance from him in BOM. This particular character needs to show every type of emotion at some time in the play - everything from simple police curiosity to utter panic. Todd delivers the goods faultlessly and he also really looks the part - a sort of younger Columbo!

So that's Todd but there's two others in this.

Nick Waring plays the creepy and sly Stone. And believe me he does creepy well! Hope he's different in real life (fortunately he is) as if he behaved like this with friends and family I think they'd keep a wide berth! Nick's delivery of the script reminded me of old movies of the notarious Dr Crippin. Creepy, devious and downright odd at times.

Jacqueline Roberts still performing despite a badly injured footJacqueline Roberts plays Dee. Now this is where a very clever change in the original script came into play.

Jacqueline was walking (well hobbling) around the stage with the assistance of a crutch. We had thought this was
part of the play. But not so. She had actually had a very serious injury to the foot following an accident at home.

But she still wanted to go on with her part in the thriller. So some very clever changes were made to the script where, on many occasions the crutch became an important prop and highlighted the helplessness of Dee.

It worked so well perhaps Ian Dickens productions may want to leave the crutch in future tours? Although seriously injuring your cast member to make them need a crutch is not recommended.

Having met , the very friendly, Jacqueline twice now we were quite looking forward to seeing her advertised forthcoming role in Eastenders as Vinnie's love interest Daphne (Daphne! Come on does she really resemble a Daphne?!). However as glamorous as she was in her appearance, I hope you caught it, because it was a blink-and-you've missed it moment. Personally, I think this was a missed opportunity for Eastenders as she's a great actress, but having said that at least you can put Eastenders on your C.V. Jacqui - nobody will ever need to know it was 30 seconds long! Well you've done The Bill as well Jacqui so you really need to aim for Corrie next perhaps for something slighly more lengthy than buying Hello magazine in the Kabin or a hairdo by Audrey. Come on casting agent's she plays a great vamp - let her corrupt Kevin Webster or have Ashley for lunch or something!

This was a superbly acted murder mystery with good twists and turns and with a great cast. It was also good to meet all 3 friendly actors and I know Todd was still conversing with a fan at the stage door long after we had left.

Incidentally, Jacqueline made a good recovery from her severe foot injury - see my later review for Murder With Love.

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