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Laughing Planet Co-op Theatre Company

Suspect: A Game of Murder

by Lori Dungey, Ian Forsyth, Richard Side, Ken Roberts with music composed by Richard Side and arranged by Mark Wilson

Director David C. Jones Choreographer Kerry Blouin Set Niki Boyd Costume Chris Sinosich Lighting Darren W. Hales  Stage Manager Josh Hallem

Dates 2 - 14 May 2006 Venue Jericho Arts Centre Reviewer Jane Penistan

Kerry Blouin, Sarah Dawn Pledge

Whodunnit? If you enjoy mysteries and a good belly laugh you can enjoy two and a half-hours of both at Jericho Arts Centre. Hurry on down and join the for Comedy Laughing Planet Co-op. Suspect is a part scripted,  part improvisational show in which both are seamlessly integrated. The dialogue is funny and the pace breathtaking. The laughs are a mile a minute when delivered by this versatile and very clever cast.

The main action takes place in Dibdin’s Manor and various other places, which are brilliantly lit – or illuminated or shadowed, by the ingenuity and skill of Darren Hales. The cast is all somewhat eccentrically dressed, with clever characteristically appropriate touches.

Introducing the performance is pianist Mark Wilson, whose fingers do the dancing throughout the evening, in a huge variety of genres, dynamics and tempi. He is also the interlocutor who keeps the show on track and the audience involved. Oh yes, the audience gets involved in the crime. Be prepared to be, and keep your wits about you. You may find yourself questioned.

The play tells the tale of wealthy T. Frognall Dibdin (Brian Anderson) who has invited some guests to his manor house for evenings entertainment. He is assisted here by his butler Cadbury (Russ Brummer) and his parlour maid, Suzette, played by Leanne Koehn, who also appears in a variety of other guises. His strange assortment of guests comprise Biff McCall (Kerry Blouin), the amazing Baroness La Fromage (Dianna David), a very tasty and exotic morsel, and an ill assorted couple, Eunice and Aldous Bacon (Sarah Dawn Pledge and Nelson Wong).Among the unusual furniture collection of the manor house is a guillotine, demonstrated as harmless in use, until its benign blade decapitates T. Frognal Dibdin.

Enter the detective. Who saw what happened? Who was near the guillotine when the blade fell? How confusing is the evidence? With a little help from the audience the crime is solved. And there is still another surprise before the curtain call.

As a member of the audience you may think you spot the criminal, but remember no member of the cast knows his/ her identity, until revealed by the sleuth. How do they do it? Go and enjoy finding out. It's worth it.

© 2006 Jane Penistan