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There’s been a shortage of plays to watch recently so I was eager to trot along to the Garrick to see Prescription:Murder on a damp Tuesday night.
I’m glad I did. This is a slick and satisfying show which engages right from the start, gripping the interest with a nicely-judged tension and some sly humour right up until the curtain falls.
Yet this is no whodunit. In fact we know exactly who dun it because the crime is perpetrated centre stage before our very eyes. The plot’s clever surprise is how the killer strings out his alibi while the almost clairvoyant Lieutenant Columbo carries out his seemingly incompetent investigation before springing the final trap.
Corrie villain Brian Capron scores a direct hit as the sinister psychiatrist with a creepily convincing twinkle. Karren Winchester as the archetypal loyal secretary ironically finds lying for her boss one of her main duties while Elizabeth Lowe is perfectly cast as the girl any man might kill for. Alexandra Boyd as the victim had enough world-weary panache to make us care about her early demise.
But the sheer physicality of John Guerrasio as Lieutenant Columbo ultimately makes this show the success it is. His exquisitely judged fake clumsiness and deceptive languor out-Faulkes even the role’s originator in a performance that touches greatness.
Overall the slick production has a Mad Men chic that lends a nicely ironic distance and allows plenty of sardonic humour. I highly recommend this for a satisfying night out.
The play runs until Saturday (February 26) with a Saturday matinee performance. For tickets phone the box office on 01543 412121 or go online at www.lichfieldgarrick.com.
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