Sleuth on National Tour

Note: The following is a reader review of the touring production of Sleuth when the show was in Guildford. The production continues its national tour through April 1999 and is then expected to transfer to the West End. No London venue has yet been confirmed.

In the programme, playwright Anthony Shaffer asks the audience not to reveal the plot of Sleuth to anybody who hasn't seen the play yet, so I won't!! But I have to reveal what a brilliant revival this is, played in a very impressive set and with two fantastic actors, Peter Bowles and Michael Maloney.

Bowles plays Andrew Wyke, a writer of detective stories, who's obsessed with finding, via real life, the right, credible plots for his books. Maloney plays Milo Tindle, his much younger neighbour, who is having an affair with Andrew's wife. Andrew invites Milo to his house one evening and a game of intrigue and power begins.

In the first act, it seems clear who is going to win this game, but as the second act unfolds, little remains certain. Nothing in this play is what it seems. You're taken on a rollercoaster ride and there isn't a chance you could get bored. This play has everything, from slapstick to nailbiting horror.

Bowles' Andrew can make you laugh or scare you to death within one scene. He's perfect for the part. Just by changing the look on his face, he tells you what plans are coming up in his head. Maloney is great as Milo, too; just a nice guy in the beginning of the play, when it comes to playing the game Andrew has laid out for him, Milo becomes as ruthless as his opponent.

It's a treat to see the interaction between these two players who keep you on the edge of your seat the whole time. What impressed me most were the sudden changes in characte. One moment Andrew was all charm and funny, and Milo seemed to be a bit of a dreamer. But then both lowered their masks and showed their real intentions.

If you love a good play, don't miss this one. Sleuth is brilliant. And it s performed by two fantastic actors who give a whole new meaning to the phrase 'playing games'

Ineke Rauhut