Reviewer Jeff DeBell had some nitpicks but overall found a lot to enjoy in Attic Productions’ latest productions. Did you see it yourself? What did you think?
Theater review: ‘Murder is Announced’ a treat for Agatha Christie fans
By Jeff DeBell
Perhaps you like to guess who done it before the revelatory final scene of an Agatha Christie whodunit. Or perhaps you just enjoy looking on as the mistress of mystery weaves a knotty plot for her own amateur sleuth, the spinsterish Miss Marple, to blithely unravel at play’s end.
Either way, Botetourt County’s D. Geraldine Lawson Performing Arts Center is the place for you to be. Christie’s “A Murder Is Announced” – a true marvel of narrative knottiness – is on stage through Saturday at the playhouse near Fincastle.
The work first appeared as a novel in 1956. It was adapted for the stage by Leslie Darbon in 1977 and has lived happily ever after on television, in the movies and on the boards at countless community theaters. First-time director Celie Holmes is at the helm of this competent, if a bit languid, Attic Productions version.
The play opens on a Friday the 13th at Little Paddocks, the home of Letitia Blacklock, in the quaint English village of Chipping Cleghorn. (The program notes don’t actually say “quaint,” but with a name like that, what else could it be?) Letitia’s drawing room, designed by Dan Naff and solidly built by his crew, is the show’s only setting.
Living with Letitia at Little Paddocks are two of her young cousins, a longtime friend, a widowed boarder and the household cook, all of whom seem surprised to read in the local newspaper that their home will be the scene of a murder at 6:30 that very evening.