I've just seen 'House of Ghosts' at The Belgrade Coventry and my initial linguistic reaction to the play came in two words – drab and dismal. In the play’s defence the acting is professional enough, at least for the most part, and TV Morse-John Thaw and all-was always going to be a hard act to follow. The problem with this production is one of content and setting-we don’t get very much of it. What is presented on stage chiefly consists of Colin Baker's booming caricature and a long series of statements given by characters to Sgt Lewis, who scribbles into a notebook. Sergeant Lewis by the way has mysteriously lost his Geordie accent and has acquired one set chiefly in RADA around 2005 with spatterings of Wiltshire. The set is extremely dull-like the backdrop to a deserted Methodist nave. As for dear old Colin Baker’s performance, it was nothing short of thunderous. It reminded me of an eccentric headmaster at a minor public school but hardly the stuff of Morse. One final mention of note, the over-acting from one particular actress at the final dramatic scene is hilarious, like something from The Comic Strip Presents in 1985! In conclusion, this production team would do well to review recent tours of ‘An Inspector Calls or ‘And Then There Were None’. At least those productions managed to create a unique little world in which we could all enter for two hours. At the end, far too many people were including the word ‘poor’ in their summary as they shuffled their way toward the exit! Needs a re-write and a much better set! - Tony Buchanan
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