REVIEW: Agatha Crusty & The Village Hall Murders!’ – The Pepperpot Players

“Not to be sneezed at!”

Pepperpot Players present ‘Agatha Crusty & the Village Hall Murders!’

If you find the body count in the TV drama series, Midsomer Murders too high, then the latest production by The Pepperpot Players will have you reaching for the smelling salts!

Agatha Crusty & the Village Hall Murders, written by Derek Webb, is the Players’ latest presentation and is a shining example of how local Amateur drama groups have managed to weather the pandemic and resume ‘normal service’.  

In this comedy murder mystery, Inspector Twigg, admirably played as the incompetent detective by Chris Turvey, is faced with a series of murders all connected with the local Village Hall. Fortunately, crime-writer, Agatha Crusty, played by Faye Farrin, has come to stay in the village and suffice to say, a little like her namesake, or perhaps more like another TV detective, Agatha Raisin, manages to find the key to the ever-growing number of deaths! 

The Pepperpot Players are celebrating their 50th anniversary providing drama in the village of Niton and so all due credit must go to director, Lorna Wilson for continuing to take up the challenge of mounting a production on what must be the smallest stage on the Island, and with a cast of 11. 

In most amateur drama productions, there are challenges in casting within the age range recommended by the author, and this can become even more difficult when romance is suggested between characters. However, the Pepperpot cast not only managed to squeeze every last drop of humour from the well-written script – but perhaps unintentionally, gained additional laughter from those very same romantic challenges! 

I cannot end without mentioning Steve Watts’ dual role as Olivia and Oliver – I will say no more but if you missed this run, then never fear, the production is coming to Shanklin Theatre on the 27th, 28th & 29th April, and tickets are already available at https://www.shanklintheatre.com/events/agatha_crusty_and_the_village_hall_murders/details.aspx – so book now!

Simon Dabell 

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