REVIEW: The Perfect Murder, Churchill Theatre (UK Tour) ✭✭✭✭

The Perfect Murder UK Tour Starring Jessie Wallace and Shane Richie

Jessie Wallace and Shane Richie In The Perfect Murder. Photo: Honeybunn Photography

The Perfect Murder
Churchill Theatre Bromley (UK Tour)
8 February 2016
4 Stars
Book Now The Perfect Murder UK Tour

When Peter James asked the then Chief Constable of Sussex, Martin Richards QPM, if he thought there was such a thing as the perfect murder. He got the reply “Absolutely, it’s the one we never hear about”.

Not having ever read a Peter James novel, I was blissfully unaware of Roy Grace, but on attending opening night of A Perfect Murder at the Churchill Theatre, seeing the full house and chatting to people sitting around me, I realise I was certainly a minority of one.

The Perfect Murder UK Tour Starring Jessie Wallace and Shane Richie

Jessie Wallace in The Perfect Murder. Photo: Honeybunn Photography

Victor and Joan Smiley are a middle aged couple living in a marriage that has long since lost its spark. Like George and Martha in Virginia Woolf they are constantly at each other. Each has a secret and each has a plan. To say any more than that would be to ruin a great night in the theatre. So – no spoilers.

Victor and Joan are played by Shane Richie and Jessie Wallace. Watching these two actors work together is a joy. They are so comfortable with each other and their chemistry onstage is quite something. They have this couple down to a tee.

Simona Armstrong as sex worker Kamila and Benjamin Wilkin as Detective Constable Roy Grace had some great moments in the play and Stephen Fletcher’s faux Cockney Don had me in stitches in some of his scenes with Jessie Wallace.

The Perfect Murder UK Tour Starring Jessie Wallace and Shane Richie

Jessie Wallace and Shane Richie In The Perfect Murder. Photo: Honeybunn Photography

What surprised me was that whilst I was expecting a murder thriller, I got a good measure of some wonderful humour and like most of the audience found myself laughing out loud at some of the most macabre situations in the play. Shaun McKenna’s stage adaptation was brisk and provided enough subtle plot twists to keep the audience guessing until the end.

Major kudos must go to Director Ian Talbot and Sound Designer Martin Hodgson, Music Composer Laura Tisdall and Lighting Designer Michael Holt who had me leaping a few feet into the air more than once.

If you are a fan of a good murder thriller then make sure you catch The Perfect Murder. Peter James makes mention in the programme that other stage adaptations of his work may be on the way and I for one can’t wait. I’m off the start reading the novels!

The Perfect Murder is currently on tour. Click here for further tour details.

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