On the 12th of September, I was drawn into the mystery story of Anthony Shaffer’s Tony Award-winning Sleuth (directed by the talented Giles Croft). Making up part of Nottingham Playhouse’s ‘Sweet Vengeance Season,’ this play was a real twist on the traditional crime thriller, and oh, how vengeful it was!
Not being familiar of the original 70s play or film, I was completely bewildered when I came into the theatre and saw on stage a life-sized laughing sailor dummy. I was instantly absorbed in the mystery of Sleuth’s staging (done by designer Barney George along with lighting designer Alexandra Stafford), and was astounded to find that it included a mansion, a revolving stage and projections of a casino-like scale.
The gamble the actors were about to play was instantly enthralling and I could not look away. That’s because the play appeals perfectly to the playful detective (or ‘sleuth’) side of the audience, and its plot intricately follows a successful, game-obsessed mystery writer by the name of Andrew Wyke (played superbly by Miles Richardson). Before long, a tricksy love rival Milo Tindle (James Alexandrou) is introduced, and Tindle and Wyke are getting wrapped up in manipulative gambits like the ultimate game of cat and mouse.
With twists and turns at every stage, the audience is left on the edge of their seats waiting for what might be discovered next! While the actors captivate your attention and keep up the pretences of of ‘crazed mystery writer’ and ‘young impressionable rival’ flawlessly. I’ll refrain from giving away anymore, though – to ensure you can enjoy the play as much as I did (#KeepSleuthSecret).
What I do have left to say, however, is that Sleuth is a fantastic play that I would highly suggest to any lover of crime dramas, mysteries or a bit of comedy! It will be performed at the Playhouse until the 24th of September 2016.