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Deathtrap (Tour - Eastbourne)

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
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Devonshire Park Theatre

Deathtrap by Ira Levin – written in 1978 – is a play that centres on a play called Deathtrap, written by Clifford Anderson (Griffin Stevens), an unknown playwright.

He shares this play with the accomplished, but now struggling playwright Sidney Bruhl (Stephen Beckett). His wife Myra (Jo Castleton) agrees to help him plagiarise the play but, when Anderson arrives, fact and fiction begin to entwine with the unexpected twists and turns.

Beckett leads this quality cast with a powerful performance portraying the scheming and desperate Sidney. He is well supported by Castleton as Myra and Stevens in the role of Anderson, both of whom give strong performances. John Hester plays the role of Porter Milgrim, Sidney's lawyer, to good effect and Claire Vousden appears as the delightfully eccentric psychic Helga ten Dorp.

The staging of this play is also something to note. The set is interestingly designed in a stepped-like format that gives an open feel and is not too high, aiding the impression of a large American country house. The lighting and music all add to the overall experience, which is very good and holds your attention throughout.

This play was a long running hit on Broadway when it originally opened and was subsequently filmed. talkingScarlet's production brings out the quality of the play, from the lightening humour to the gripping tension. This is definitely a play you will want to see, if you do you won't be disappointed.

- Ian Black