Deathtrap (Southwold – tour)

If the decades before mobile phones and laptop computers – let alone tablets – seem a part of history, some of the plays of that period still punch a punch in the 21st century. One of these is Ira Levin’s “Deathtrap”.

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Armen Gregory's new production of Deathtrap for Suffolk Summer Theatres bustles along at a fair clip, leaving those audience members not already well acquainted with the thriller and its myriad plot twists and turns slightly straining to keep up.

Harry Gostelow plays Sidney Bruhl, the formerly successful West End dramatist running short on inspiration. And the cash to fuel his comfortable country-house lifestyle.

Budding playwright Clifford Anderson might provide a solution to both problems, but two's company and three's none (as the saying goes). Unfortunately Myra, Sidney's wife (Katy Federman), doesn't quite fit into this new scheme of things.

The complications multiply when a German psychic, Helga Von Dorf (who has come to live in the neighbourhood) visits. Jill Freud balances the oddities of the character as she finds herself able only to sense tragedy and not to prevent it.

Alan J Mirren is Clifford, an eager-beaver not quite what he seems and Clive Flint plays Richard Porter-Milgrim, a country solicitor with dramatic interests. The all-important fights are well staged by Simon Snashall; Maurice Rubens directs.

Deathtrap runs at the Southwold Summer Theatre until 2 August and transfers to the Jubilee Hall, Aldeburgh between 5 and 9 August.