Report by: Peter Parlour (NODA Rep. District 6) on 20 March 2015 (edited) Venue: Georgian Theatre Royal, Richmond Director: Mike Walker
This was an absorbing play,excellently produced, and very well acted indeed. It was the story of two playwrights conferring over the plot of a play called Deathtrap. Sidney Bruhl and Clifford Anderson were discussing the play Deathtrap and were planning the final act, when Sidney couldn't agree with Clifford and he killed him. Sidney and his wife Myra removed the body outside and began to cover things up.Myra was far from happy and tempers between her and Sidney were frayed,all because of the play.
Sidney and Clifford were also at loggerheads before he died. When during a heated moment Clifford appeared from outside, it left Myra amazed and it was too much for her and she died of a heart attack. During all the mayhem a visitor arrives, Helga ten Dorp, a type of spiritualist , and she predicted the outcome and said certain people would die.
After Myra's death the two began to finish the play. When Clifford left the house for a while Sidney began to read the play which Clfford had locked away in a drawer, and forcing it open, read the script and exchanged it for his own. When Clifford arrived back he realised something was wrong,and began to type his own play. In the meantime a solicitor arrived to sort out Myra's estate in the person of Porter Milgrim and gave his opinions. Helga arrived back and confirmed her opinions.
Ira Levin's play certainly kept you on your seat. Sidney Bruhl was excellently played by David Curtis, he really made the drama because of his facial expressions and actions and was really strong and powerful throughout his performance.His wife Myra was well played by Alice Johnson, even after her death we weren't sure whether she had died ,with one death earlier in the play, this could have been another red herring. Clifford Anderson was also brilliantly played by Dan Cockett, he was much the quieter of the two and got on with his job. Helga ten Dorp was well played by Jackie McLeod, in the Madame Arcati mould. Porter Milgrim was also well portrayed by Gary Winn.
The play was set in Westport, Connecticut in 1978, and the cast really kept the American accent up well. The director Mike Walker really did a first class job with all the technical and complicated stage directions and the cast did him proud with their presentation of the script. An excellent night’s entertainment, well done Richmond!
Sidney Bruhl, a seemingly comfortable successful playwright, is suffering from a string of failures and a shortage of funds. Receiving the script of a thriller from a seminar student he immediately recognizes it as a potential Broadway hit. Sidney offers to collaborate - the younger man quickly accepts. Suspense mounts as the plot begins to twist with devilish cleverness; coupled with abundant thrills and laughter holding audiences enthralled until the startling finale.
DEATHTRAP was the longest running comedy-thriller on Broadway and was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Play in 1978. Its film adaptation in 1982 starred Christopher Reeve and Michael Caine. Ira Levin also wrote several iconic novels, including Rosemary's Baby, The Boys from Brazil and The Stepford Wives.