Unity Theatre, Liverpool
Three greatest detectives of our time have been asked by their Government to investigate the murder of Sherlock Holmes, shot dead in his apartment and the famous Indigo Star jewel taken. Hercule Poirot, Jules Maigret and Inspector Jacques Clouseau are on the case. If anyone can solve this crime, then surely these brilliant minds can.
The inspiration to put three of the greatest fictional crime characters together to solve a murder mystery on the Orient Express is, on paper, a good idea. However, when putting these thoughts down into a logical script is a different kettle of fish. Gambolling Arena Theatre Company have bitten off more then they chew with this mammoth word fest, in an attempt to tell a murder mystery story any kind of momentum has been left behind on the platform.
Taking on the roles, we have Tom Burroughs playing Poirot, John Doull as Maigret and Gary Cain as Inspector Clouseau. All big characters and memorable for their own reasons; Clouseau in particular for his incompetence and bumbling manner which often lead to some very funny comedy moments.
As for Poirot - his very particular mannerisms and Maigret's like for alcohol and his trademark pipe are what audiences remember. Not here though, only a few of these idiosyncrasies surfaced and there was no real continuity. Accents were consistent with Cain and Burroughs, but Doull's French accent lacked any kind of strength.
Though very much far from the mark, good efforts from these three and writer Ed Bixter in attempting to capture what essentially is an interesting concept however lack of directorship and any real energy let it down.
- Janie Phillips