Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Inside Job Devonshire Park Theatre Eastbourne Review

Inside Job
Devonshire Park Theatre
18-22 May 2010
(Performance seen 18 May)

Cast (appearance order)

Suzy: Michelle Morris
Larry: Matt Healy
Alex: Christopher Villiers 

Inside Job with Matt Villiers, Michelle Morris and Matt Healy
With two well respected and very popular ex Emmerdale actors together with one of the most experienced touring theatre actresses (who also starred as Jess Haworth in TV's The Knock) I anticipated good things from this Ian Dicken's production.

It does not disappoint. With so many twist and turns in this murder mystery thriller written by Brian Clemens you are kept guessing until the very end about the eventual outcome. Any of the 3 cast members have good reason to end up dead, but who will it be and will there be more than one victim?

To save ruining the plot on this one I'll give no background story except for the fact that it is set in a Spanish Villa a mile or so from Marbella. The set is an impressive static set (well almost static - see the show to find out what that means). This is one story where you don't need set changes to impress or add to the tale.

It's almost a year since Strictly Murder was awarded a 5 star rating. It's hard to find a thriller that has something gripping and different about it. The recent Nightfright The Nightmare Of Your Life was good but had too much comedy to be a seriously top thriller. Inside Job has practically no comedy, the only titters really being raised at the ability of Matt Healy to switch from a raging bull to the serene calmness of a grinning cheshire cat instantly.

The three artists are superb. The charming Michelle Morris is a familiar face at The Devonshire park, although her previous appearances have both been farces, Cash On Delivery (2007) and Run For Your Wife (2008). Those were both super comedies and I may do "retro reviews" shortly as I do have some pics I can use too.

Matt Healy is most well known as playing bad boy Matthew King in Emmerdale. Since he left the ITV soap they have tried hard to find a new 'hard man' but if  the character Nathan Wylde is meant to be it then it doesn't work. Emmerdale's loss is a gain for this excellent touring production though. A tip for other theatres that haven't produced all their promotional posters yet Matt is spelt exactly that way and not Matthew as it was spelt on some of Eastbourne's posters. Matt, understandably, would most appreciate his name being spelt properly.

Christopher Villiers is also best known from Emmerdale playing Grayson Sinclair. Both Chris and Matt are great friends in real life and their working knowledge of each other is reflected in a convincing dramatic performance on stage.

Any downside? Well the audience numbers for this opening night were somewhat abysmal. Hopefully as more good reviews get published interest will be substantially greater at other theatres. Eastbourne is the first venue for this show so Inside Job still has plenty of time to get the audiences it deserves.

The one other minor thing involves a prop - if a prop is being displayed that has just been used to substantially batter somebody with great force - would it be a good idea to have it not looking immaculately clean and to maybe have some 'blood' and 'gore' on it? Just a thought.

This is an excellent thriller with plenty of 'blood' and with that 'keep the audience guessing' factor that so many similar shows lack. With this first rate cast it comes highly recommended.
5 out of 5 for Inside Job

These future dates for Inside Job may be subject to change - check with your theatre
Lincoln Theatre Royal - 1st-5th June 2010
Connaught Theatre Worthing - 8th-12th June 2010
Mercury Theatre, Colchester - 14th-19th June 2010
Lyceum Theatre, Crewe - 21st-26th June 2010
Grand Theate Wolverhampton - 6th-10th July 2010
Civic Theatre Darlington - 20th -24th July 2010
Grand Theatre Swansea  - 3rd-7th August 2010

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