The Perfect Murder


The Perfect Murder:

perfect-murderThe Perfect Murder is a play based on Peter James novella which tells of a couple, Victor and Joan both dreaming of a new life without the other, but neither realising the others fantasy and the lengths they will go to in order to get it. I don’t want to go into too much detail regarding the plot as I don’t want to spoil it for you if you are planning to see it. It is suffice to say that Peter James more than lives up to his reputation as one of the UK’s best crime writers and that his story translates brilliantly to stage.


The writing is sharp and witty and you come to realise by the end of the play that even throwaway comments onstage were more significant than you may have expected. The show also built up tension well, evident in that some of the screams on stage were also echoed by some audience members. It is a tough ask to have a murder mystery that has the audience laughing one minute and then screaming the next but The Perfect Murder achieves this with ease.


Photo credit – Honeybunn Photography

The cast of Shane Richie, Jessie Wallace, Simona Armstrong, Stephen Fletcher and Benjamin Wilkin do the writing and the story justice. Shane Ritchie and Jessie Wallace are reunited on stage as married couple Victor and Joan Smiley. It could be easy for the Eastenders fans in the audience to struggle to detach themselves from Kat and Alfie however there was no such issue and both of them carried the show admirably, with their onstage chemistry evident. I also enjoyed Stephen Fletcher’s portrayal of Don Kirk, the moment you see him bum wiggling on stage he is watchable and perfect for the part.
The set is also well considered for the show with the 3 different locations, the spare bedroom and the front room belonging the to the Smiley’s and Kamila’s room. All of these 3 locations are constantly onstage on different levels and a simple lighting change highlights the current scene. This means that the action can flow and there is no delays during scene changes.
It is possibly one of the funniest murder mysteries I have seen. I would recommend A Perfect Murder to all, from Peter James’ fans to people that just want a night of comedy and escapism at the theatre.

The Perfect Murder is on at the Churchill Theatre until 13th February and then tours nationally. I would recommend booking quickly though as tickets seem to be flying and it played to a packed house on a Monday night at the Churchill.


Other reviews you might like – East is East and the History Boys, both at the Churchill Theatre.


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