REVIEW: Agatha Christie adaptation simply spiffing

Why pay upwards of £40 for a West End play when you can go and see something just as professional right here on your doorstep for a fraction of the price?

The cast of Towards Zero.
The cast of Towards Zero.

Horncastle Theatre Company’s new play – Agatha Christie’s Towards Zero – opens today (Wednesday) and runs until Saturday 9.

We were given a sneak preview of Towards Zero on Monday, directed by Tommy Peckham and Alan Paine, and I wasn’t disappointed.

A party has gathered at Gull’s Point, the seaside home of Lady Tressilian – played marvellously with acerbic aplomb by Penny Holland - and lothario Neville Strange (Mark Emmerson) finds himself caught between his first wife Audrey (Cheryl Vallely) and his new flame Kay (Adele Simpson).

Throw in a self-declared lovesick swain Ted (Joseph Bramley), another distinguished gentleman harbouring lost love Thomas Royde (Andy Vallely), long-suffering maid Mary (Priscilla Burbidge) and all-seeing and knowing Mr Treves (Gwyn Williams) you’ve got a wonderful collection of characters, all with something to hide.

The tension was built up well in the love triangle between Neville, Audrey and the brilliantly shrill and hysterical Kay, and then more drama comes when one of the party is bumped off – but whodunnit?

The police officers who come in to try and find out exactly that may not be applauded for their following of modern police procedures, but were excellent in building tension during their interviews to make the characters spill the beans.

Everyone has a motive it seems, and you’ll probably change your mind over who the murderer is several times, and when the big reveal finally comes, you’ll be knocked for six when you realise the clues were hidden in plain sight all along.

This is an incredibly talented cast who work brilliantly together and the chemistry between the characters was fantastic, and without giving any spoilers away, their portrayals of the characters ranged from being hilariously funny, to absolutely terrifying.

I was so impressed by the professional, slick performances of the cast, the set design which looks so professional with excellent attention to detail, and the sheer professionalism of the whole experience that I’d encourage anyone to go and see it.

Bookings are online at www.horncastletheatre.co.uk/book-tickets/ or at the Co-op Travel shop, Bridge Street, Horncastle (cash only).