Venue: Waterside Arts Centre
Where: Sale

The Rocket Theatre Company bring a refreshing adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime to audiences sat at candle lit round tables in the elegant ambience of the Chambers.

Martin Harris’s script written for just two characters, has wisely kept many of Wilde’s unforgettable lines. The result is a hilariously funny black comedy with a smattering of audience participation as the actors mingle with their guests.

Harris also takes on the title role, capturing only too well the quirky nature of this upper class bounder. He has the knack of telling a tale with appropriate emphasis and pause. The bulk of the work though goes to James Anning who, takes on umpteen roles including clairvoyant conman Podgers, a domineering aunt, a Dean’s daughter, a German anarchist and a Russian nobleman.

It is his unseen fiancée, Sybil Merton, who unknowingly drives Lord Arthur to murder. When Podgers forecasts that he will kill somebody, the peer, determines to dispose of anyone in sight so that he won’t see off his precious Sybil.

You come away laughing at Wilde’s improbable plot but also full of amazement at the number of characters Anning plays relying on props to change characters as well as the ability of  Martin Harris to keep a straight face.

A cracking production of a witty play, which brings pace and energy to the piece.

- Julia Taylor