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Norman Pace on Murdered to Death

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What's special about Murdered to Death?
I was surprised that, when I met members of the audience after the first performances and discussed the play, they were at least as interested in the “who dun it” aspect as the comedy element. It is funny and intriguing in equal measure; that is what makes the play so special and outstanding.

How is it different from others in the genre?
I'm no expert but would imagine that it is because the balance between the comedy and the drama is so well realised. That may not always be the case with this genre.

Does the idea of spoofing well-loved characters and situations appeal to a 21st century audience?
Spoofing is very well understood to modern audiences and there is a long history of satire and spoof in this country. I’m very well accustomed to this style of comedy. It's why impersonators are so popular – it's the voice of someone famous in an unreal or surreal situation.

Why is that?
We bring to the stage and reference on it some very famous and well-loved characters, such as Miss Marple, Hercule Poirot, the bumbling police inspector and so on. You know these people and here they are – slightly larger than life.

Why do you think your role is particularly enjoyable?
If you ask yourself if the role can make you laugh when you first read it and the answer is a resounding Yes, then that's a good start. The play was even funnier on the first read-through with the cast. But what makes the role so enjoyable is that it is the hardest, most complicated gobbledygook that I have ever had to learn. And that’s another reason I said yes to the part. I knew that the huge amount of learning, not just on the long speeches full of malapropisms and mispronunciations, but the physical demands would keep me challenged throughout the tour. All that and the general fun of playing in a great ensemble company will keep us on our toes until we finish in October!


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