Players’ murder raises lots of laughs

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THE St George’s Community Players at Morpeth once again reached heights of excellence when they tackled Murdered to Death in the Church Hall for three nights last week.

It’s a pleasure to write a crit on this talented group.

Why? Because they have set a standard and rarely do they not reach it with every performance.

Last week was no exception in front of three capacity audiences. Step forward David Swinton, who on his debut directed what was another first-class showing.

Step forward too George Knox, who in the leading role was on stage for the majority of this whodunnit/comedy production written by Peter Gordon.

Mr Knox, indicative of his part as Pratt, was a hapless and incompetent police inspector who topped off his investigations by managing to get it completely awry and arrest the wrong culprits.

Nevertheless, for all of his faults, Pratt gave the audience an abundance of laughs, not least when he shot his colleague — Constable Thompkins — not once but twice.

But then this play offered so much more.

A cast of ten can all look back and reflect with pride and be happy with the respective roles they played.

Eileen Clark as Mildred, Jared Johnson as Bunting, the butler, Robin Herron and Sue Elliott as married couple Colonel and Mrs Margaret Craddock, Tim Clark as Pierre and Emma Banfield as Elizabeth Hartley Trumpington — the wrongly accused duo — and Margaret Johnson as Joan Maple, are experienced campaigners and again delivered their roles with assurance.

Newcomers Carmel Adamson and Harry Adamson as Dorothy and Thompkins grew in confidence as the plot thickened.

The group has already announced its spring offering, When We Are Married, by JB Priestley, and I for one cannot wait until next year when the curtain goes up towards the end of March.

BRIAN BENNETT