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Past Performances


Murder at the Marriage


It was the bridegroom wot dun it, but most of the sell-out audience at the Dulverton Players’ mystery evening, “Murder at the Marriage”, staged at All Saints Church on June 15th 2012, hadn’t a clue. Only one member of the audience was successful in establishing murderer, motive, and method.

Author Richard Hall from Winsford not only had created a fiendish plot, but also had kept most of the cast as much in the dark as the audience, with only the victim and the murderer in the know. Apart from a handful of set speeches, the actors were required to improvise all the dialogue, and so it was a mercy that most of them had a wine glass in their hands throughout.

Brilliant chemist David Cousins is to wed his university sweetheart Carol Brennan but it turns out to be one wedding and a funeral. What does Carol’s dipsomaniac father have against the groom? What has the globetrotting oenologist Cousins been up to in California? Has he kept his hands strictly on his own test tubes? Are there any skeletons left in the cupboard from the less-than-happy couple’s Cambridge University ménage a quatre with their bumbling best man and sexy Maid of doubtful Honour?

With the prospect of acting fully licensed, and with a three course meal thrown in, almost all the usual suspects of the Players crowded into the action. Real-life marrieds Nick and Suzanne Thompson played the bride and groom as to the manner born, with Suzanne giving her actual wedding dress its tenth outing from its trunk in the loft.

Rector John Thorogood also was completely at ease in a familiar role until, with the “service” rudely interrupted by objectors, he gallantly retired to do the washing up. The acting honours, however, went to Simon Bartlett with his delicious cameo as the irritable and aggressively tipsy father of the bride.

Les Silverlock and Richard Hall himself played two plodding detectives, with Richard in particular cross-examining the rest of the cast with such gormless intensity one feared that even he, the author, had no idea of the dénouement.

Who had killed the gorgeous Maid of Honour – Tamsin Blackmore, stunning in a black wig with more than a touch of a 1960’s pop singer about it? What was the significance of her enigmatic last words, “California Rice”?
Eventually all was revealed, but not before the “guests” had enjoyed a splendid wedding breakfast prepared by Christine Dubery and her loyal followers. Many of the audience had come suitably dressed for a wedding and thoroughly determined to enjoy a very successful evening.

Sadly, this was Richard Hall’s swansong with the Players as he is moving back to Hampshire, and he will be much missed by the Players both on and off the stage.


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