Tense in the first half - second starts off slowly, but becomes a massacre on stage! - avoid if non-gun-friendly! - USER: Whatsonstage.com
20 May 02
David Soul was very nice. I missed a most of his performance in the second act, however as I dropped my crisps.
Little Debbie - USER: Whatsonstage.com
09 Apr 02
David Soul was convincing in the lead role. The poor American accent impressions by the supporting cast were all to obvious heard alongside Soul's gruff American drawl. I have to disagree with the other reviewers over the physic neighbour. I thought the role and performance tedious. Infact, after the first act the play went a downhill for me. The last scene with the physic murdering Bruhl's lawyer were a nonsense. By the way the video images presented weren't very clear as the picture seemed faded and a bit blurry. This was the first time I've been to the theatre and although I may have been over critical with my views on this play I still enjoyed the night out. - USER: Whatsonstage.com
09 Apr 02
By Alex Waddington
Fans of the smash 1970s TV series ‘Starsky and Hutch’ are used to seeing actor David Soul solving crime, rather than committing it. But on the opening night of Deathtrap at the Alhambra Theatre in Bradford, the 58-year-old demonstrated considerable flair for poaching, rather than gamekeeping.
As Sidney Bruhl, Soul plays a fading American playwright living in Connecticut, whose inspiration and ideas have dried up. But when student Clifford Anderson - played by Gerald Kyd of BBC Casualty fame - posts him a brilliant script, the desperate writer sees a brilliant opportunity.
From then on, the plot takes more twists and turns than a helter-skelter, with a strong dose of murder and black humour thrown in for good measure.
Split into two acts, the first was pacey and devilishly clever. It boasted some excellent black humour and a smattering of cracking one-liners that prompted genuine belly laughs from the decent-sized audience.
In fact, the only spoilers in the first 75 minutes were two prolonged death scenes. A speedy death from a gunshot wound is fine, and a swift stabbing is also very acceptable. Simple ‘fall down and lie still on the floor’ type stuff.
But when it comes to long-winded demises like strangulation and heart attacks, one’s mind is drawn to scenes like Bottom’s slapstick portrayal of Pyramus’s death in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The blame, though, lies firmly in the script, not with the cast - how can any actor know what it’s truly like to suffer a drawn out and painful death?
Unfortunately, the second Act was somewhat less compelling and all rather too predictable. As for final scene, it seems playwright Ira Levin ran clean out of ideas - just like the lead character he created.
This touring production is only a few weeks into a six month run, and was a little unpolished in places. Soul’s rapid-fire, gruff America drawl was initially very difficult to understand, but his projection and performance improved markedly as his character became more animated. His numerous comedy lines were well delivered, and overall he gave a decent portrayal of a desperate and deranged man.
Kyd, pencil-thin and handsome, gave a mature and competent performance, and I know at least one person who bought a ticket on the strength of his dark looks alone. But both he and Stewart Bevan, who plays Bruhl’s attorney Porter Milgrim, struggled at times to maintain convincing American accents.
Susan Penhaligon did as well as could be expected in the limited role of Myra, Sidney’s rather pathetic but wealthy wife. And Becky Hindley gave an excellent performance as the Bruhl’s eccentric neighbour, Dutch psychic Helga ten Dorp.
Reviewed at: The Alhambra Theatre, Bradford, 5/2/2002. - USER: Whatsonstage.com
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