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Daylight Robbery (24:7 Theatre Festival - Manchester)

Disjointed scenes and a confusing plot make Daylight Robbery a let down on the 24:7 Theatre Festival scene, says Joanna Ing

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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New Century House, Manchester

Comic drama Daylight Robbery has been written by Micheál Jacob

The most original thing about Daylight Robbery is it is set in Manchester and not London. Inspector Jerome Caminada addresses an audience to tell of a case he worked on in 1888 but chose not to include in his memoirs. Someone is robbing gentlemen in Didsbury, and there is a body in the Medlock. Caminada must work out what has happened and what the connection between the two is in seven days.

Writer Micheál Jacob's detective is Sherlock-lite with very little of intrigue about him. His amazing powers of detection appear to be very clear to the rest of the characters but not so clear to the audience. When he does finally catch the perpetrators they hardly even deny it -choosing instead to explain in great detail how they did it. Daylight Robbery is described as a comic drama so perhaps this is an attempt to spoof the detective genre; if this is the case there are very few laughs.

There are some good performances, in particular Kerry Lorenza-Bennett, but generally the whole production felt a little bit amateur. The confusing plot was made more confusing by having multiple characters played by the same actors. As little attempt was made to change their appearance it became a process of detection to work out who was who.

There were some more creative directorial decisions like when the actors sit in the stalls and interact with the audience, but generally the use of the stage was unimaginative. The pace also felt wrong and the short scenes did not flow well together. Instead there is a constant marching (or bustling if it is a woman) on and off stage, sometimes quite abruptly.

Daylight Robbery is a disappointing production, which does not live up to 24:7's reputation.

- Joanna Ing