Something to Hide by Leslie Sands
St Mary's Drama Group
Hampton Hill Theatre - 09 November 2018
Hide and Shriek
Something to Hide
by Leslie Sands
SMDG at Hampton Hill Theatre until 10th November
Review by Eleanor Marsh
Something to Hide by the actor and writer Leslie Sands is a piece of its time: the 1950’s. Wisely, SMDG’s director, Jean Wood has chosen to leave it firmly where it belongs in terms of staging and this overall feel is enhanced by touches such as masking scene changes by closing the curtains – something I’ve not seen in the theatre in a long time – and by the contemporary 1950’s music playing on the radio. Jerome Kern’s The Way You Look Tonight is a particularly good choice of song to evoke the atmosphere of what is both happening and about to happen.
Although the plot relies on several descriptive speeches of offstage action to move on, it is written is such a way that - as long as the actors are up to it – it does not appear as static and laboured as some other plays of its genre. SMDG’s actors are more than up to this task of storytelling-acting and the dramatic action moves at a good pace.
The play is mooted as a “thriller” and it has everything an Agatha Christie fan could wish for: murder, adultery, blackmail, deception, twists and turns of plot and even a nosy neighbour. The cast is small and all are enthusiastic.
Sue Birks and Gina Way both seem to be having fun playing respectively the nosy neighbour and the cleaner. These characters are somewhat superfluous to the plot but serve the good purpose of relieving the tension just when it is needed. The other minor role of Mr Purdie the mechanic is played by Paul Lawston. Nicola Doble does her best with the somewhat underwritten role of Julie. She has little to work with, but is a crucial character and Ms Doble is both three dimensional and sympathetic. As the protagonist (or is he…?) Howard Holt played by Richard Pool is suave and comes into his own towards the end of the play. Susan Reoch, as the moneyed wife, Karen is well cast, demonstrating vulnerability and steely determination in equal measure. And completing the cast we have the excellent Darren McIlroy as the dogged - and very clever – Inspector Davies … …
Read Eleanor Marsh’s full review at www.markaspen.wordpress.com/2018/11/08/hide
Photography by Bill Bulford
Something to Hide by Leslie Sands SMDG at Hampt