Bodies pile up quickly in the second part of Peter Gordon’s trilogy, Secondary Cause of Death.
The Agatha Christie spoof whodunnit was staged by Rushen Players over three nights at the Erin Arts Centre in Port Erin last week.
It’s evident from the first time that the hopelessly incompetent Inspector Pratt (Graham Roberts) stumbles on to the stage that he isn’t going to quickly solve the case.
‘I’m the munchkin of the investigation,’ he declares, one of an endless stream of malapropisms that must have been a tall order to learn, but which kept the audience laughing the whole way through the show’s opening night.
The set up is deceptively simple. All of the action takes place in the library of Bagshot House over the course of under 24 hours in the spring of 1939.
Guests are arriving for a murder mystery evening organised by Cynthia Maple (Ailsa Harrop) but it’s not long before there are real mysteries to solve.
The clever plot twists and turns. The characters aren’t all they seem –it’s best not to trust anyone!
Many of them are hiding their real identities and motives.
Underestimate novice cook Lily Tuthill (Naomi Howarth) and lisping ATS officer Henrietta Woolmer-Cardington (Robyn Hughes) at your peril.
The library – designed by Adrienne Sanderson and constructed by David Leiserach – holds secrets of its own too with a hidden door disguised as a wall panel.
Directed by Catie Angus, the action moves at pace – in contrast to Inspector Pratt’s investigation – with gunshots and even an exploding cigar thrown into the mix.
The cast were all convincing as their complex characters and kept the audience guessing right until the end.
The lively production made for a laughter-filled evening of theatre.