Devonshire Park Theatre

Part of the Murder in the Park season, "Suddenly At Home" by Francis Durbridge was written in 1973 and is set slightly earlier in the late 1960s, so as such is a modern period drama. It is set in the Howards' flat, which has been effectively designed to represent the flat without boxing in the action completely.

Ben Roddy in Suddenly at Home
Ben Roddy in Suddenly at Home
Maggie Howard (Susan Thorpe) is trying to persuade her husband Glenn (Ben Roddy) to move to Bermuda and live on her fortune, but Glenn has other ideas about using her money and has plans to get hold of it for himself. This leads us through various twists and turns to a very unexpected ending.

One of the most noticeable aspects of this production is the use of Sixties music. This is played at scene changes and through periods of dialogue free action. It evokes the period and creates a seamless flow to the play, although the music is a little intrusive at times when dialogue has to compete with it.

The whole cast provide solid and quality performances bringing out those moments of humour to lighten the mood where possible in contrast with the tension of this gripping thriller. Philip Stewart should be singled out for a mention, as well as playing the part of Appleton with great effect, he also directed the play.

Overall this is a play worth seeing. It will keep you guessing until the end.

- Ian Black