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Well the nights are drawing in, there’s nothing on the telly (as usual) but there is a nice warm welcoming theatre just down the road with a cracking hit comedy on at reasonable rates. No wonder the first night of Ian Dickens’ production of Murdered To Death was practically sold out. Peter Gordon’s comedy whodunnit is set in that cosy house-party world from between the wars we all love and that’s kept Agatha Christie’s fanbase growing all these years,  a world where everyone knows their place and an old lady and her knitting calmly solve the most heinous of crimes. This show is lavishly cast, with legendary star Victor Spinetti opening with a historically funny comedy butler, plus Corrie’s exquisite Chloe Newsome as the innocent ingénue. In addition there’s Roland Oliver as the splendidly splenetic sherry-loving Colonel Cradock and the bubbly Sandra Dickinson as his wife Margaret, Michelle Hardwick as the overdressed vamp and Darren Machin as her gangly Hercule Poirot-esque comic boyfriend Pierre Marceau. But the silliness really takes off in the second act with the entrance of  Norman Pace, half of the comedy duo Hale and Pace as the not-too-bright malaprop-spouting Inspector Pratt who gets absolutely everything wrong. There’s always a star though and even in this accomplished cast for me it’s Christopher Elderwood as the hapless and accident-prone Constable Thompkins whose inspired and long-suffering normality is a perfect foil for the sheer lunacy of the plot. Murdered To Death runs until October 16. For tickets phone the box office on 01543 or go online at