Adrian Venables getting into character

Lichfield Players’ member Adrian Venables was doing a bit of detective work at a mocked up crime scene at the weekend in preparation for his part in the society’s next show.

The Players are performing Simon Brett’s thriller Murder in Play at the Lichfield Garrick Theatre from May 19.

The story follows a budget repertory theatre company where rehearsals for Murder at Priorswell Manor are most decidedly not going to plan.

Boris, the Russian director, is trying to tease an acceptable performance from his cast and he doesn’t have his troubles to seek; an aging actor with a fondness for the bottle, a sharp-tongued former soap opera star and a leading man who is hopeless with props are already a recipe for production disaster.

And Boris’s personal life is no simpler – his wife is his leading lady, he’s having an affair with another actress and the womanising director has a couple more lined up.

But when one of the company is murdered it’s up to the cast to find out ‘whodunnit’, unearthing a host of juicy personal secrets in search of the truth.

“It should be great fun for the audience to watch, as while it’s a thriller, there are plenty of laughs too,” said Adrian who plays Detective Delvor. “To sum up the play in a sentence, it’s basically murder, mirth and the unmasking of malefactors with plenty of red-herrings along the way.”

The Lichfield Players’ production of Murder in Play runs from May 19 to 23. Tickets are £12 (concessions £11 and £9) from the box office on 01543 412121 or by visiting