Write Me A Murder

This play took place at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre during Tuesday 7th to Saturday 11thJuly 2009 and it was the first in a series of summer dramas put on at the theatre. I went to see the show on Wednesday 8th July 2009 and I sat on the front row. It was a relatively small cast with only nine cast members:

»        Paul Opacic

»        Helen Weir

»        Ocean Isoaro

»        Christopher Villiers

»        Leslie Grantham

»        Maxine Gregory

»        Mark Booth

»        Richard Kettles

»        Mark Booth

The drama is set in Rodingham Manor during the 1950’s, and is the story of two brothers that have returned to their father’s deathbed. The elder brother, Clive Rodingham, who is also heir to the estate, is very close to selling the house to the devious Charles Sturrock, however his younger brother, David Rodingham, a crime writer who at the time of the story is living on a house boat, wishes to retain the family heritage. After their father’s death, Sturrock to cover up his previous negotiations of buying the house introduces David to his wife Julie, an aspiring, unpublished writer. David promises to help her win a competition in a newspaper by assisting her to write the story, during this the pair become close and as the crime story becomes more ‘perfect’, unexpected events unfold, leading fiction to become fact and end with a dramatic finale in which the audience really don’t know how the play is going to end. 

David North who was the Set and Lighting Designer excelled himself with the set, really making the stage come to life representing a typical manor house, and the extra use of the stair case and the side room/study worked well to show how members who weren’t meant to hear certain conversations could. The lighting was also used extremely well, especially during more dramatic scenes and in line with the guns firing. 

I think the most notable cast member was by far Christopher Villiers, playing David Rodingham, the younger brother, his behaviour when arguing with his brother, made the audience believe that they were brothers, and then his convincing performance when deceiving Charles Sturrock and leading Julie in her writing and then later in the show the ‘perfect murder’ excelled and made him the start of the show. However not a fault can be found with any of the cast, who all performed to their limits, Leslie Grantham, who is most commonly known for his role in Eastenders as Dirty Den, returned to his usual scheming characters which he pulls of so well, and Maxine Gregory, who played Julie Sturrock also stood out from the cast in playing both the loving (and at times not so loving) wife as well as the aspiring writer who wants nothing more than to get her stories published. 

There is very little to criticise in the drama, the thriller is well written and leaves the audience guessing until the end, and a twist that was hard to detect before it happened, just like how all crime stories should be. 

I would definitely recommend this drama to others, while I wasn’t keen on attending before the show as I’m not usually a fan of crime dramas, this show turned my opinion around and kept me entertained, intrigued and interested the whole night long and much of the audience left still in shock at the ending. It was certainly a thrilling night. 

Because at the end of the day, who really is double crossing who?