"Just sit back and relax"
by Jill Lawrie for remotegoat on 11/10/18

Just sit back, relax and let Bill Kenwright’s Classic Thriller Theatre Company entertain you with their latest well-supported touring production “The Case of the Frightened Lady” by Edgar Wallace. Following on from the decade-long success of The Agatha Christie Company The new Classic Thriller Theatre Company’s current production, that premiered in January, now has a new cast for the autumn tour.

The tale is set in the early 1930’s in the Lebanon family’s ancestral home. A shocking murder occurs and Inspector Tanner is brought in to investigate. He is faced with a bloodline obsessed patriarch, staff with a grudge, a possible blackmailer and a terrible closely-guarded secret.

An inspiring set, heraldic shields and glamorous costumes ensure the play is a visual treat. Added to this are some fine supporting performances, notably from Deborah Grant playing the lady of the house and Rosie Thomas as Mrs Tilling. John Partridge, the recent emotional winner of Celebrity MasterChef, heads the cast and plays the sleuth Inspector Tanner. Partridge is well-known for his TV role in “Eastenders” as Christian Clarke and he is also a West End musical theatre leading man. With his suave understated persona, logical and analytical mind he interrogates the members of the household one by one, quick to identify any inconsistencies. Matt Barber excels as bored, disgruntled, childish young Lord Lebanon. He squirms and simpers as he holds the production together.

Wallace’s trademark air of gathering menace, slowly reaches its horrifying climax, peppered with twists and turns allowing the audience to sift through the clues and form their own conclusions.

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