Delightfully deadly thriller

Deadly Nightshade SUS-151102-093753001
Deadly Nightshade SUS-151102-093753001

Sedlescombe Players presented “Deadly Nightcap”, a thriller by Francis Durbridge, from Thursday 29th –Saturday 31st January at Sedlescombe Village Hall.

“Deadly Nightcap”, a tightly –knit thriller, expertly executed by the Players, demonstrates how family relationships, particularly when family members are involved in running a successful business, can become fraught with mistrust, intrigue, jealousies and greed.

Jack Radford (confidently played by Mike Farrall) manages a successful estates agency jointly owned by Jack’s wife Sarah (Nicola Dealtry) and her brother Edward (Rob Dyer). When Edward confronts his brother-in-law regarding what he sees as dubious managerial issues, Jack realises that his mismanagement (to his advantage) and therefore his covert dealings and secret life are threatened.

Jack must conceal his tracks and plots to continue his unsavoury plans.

To reveal more of the twists and turns, happenings and shocks galore as this play weaves its way through our emotions and expectations would be to deprive others who do not know this delightful yarn. “Deadly Nightcap”, a classic from the 70’s; the set and costumes transported us old enough to remember back to an age of geometric whirls and swirls, beige, brown and yellow, and pre digital technology.

Of particular note was the strong performance of Mike Farrall as Jack Radford, whose demeanour of an arrogant narcissistic megalomaniac never faltered.

Also, the mesmerising interplay between the two women, Sarah and Kate (Mary Alderton) as Sarah’s friend, with its depths of trust and friendship, and mutual support, and its shallows of interdependency and vulnerability, unfolded throughout, sustained by these competent actors, leaving me to believe that these two deserve a two-hander of their own.

Nicola Dealtry possesses a depth of experience as portrayed by Jack’s wife, she sustained a fine line between credulity and sanity, and psychological disturbance of equilibrium, mature resilience, and moving in its fragility.

Rhona Vallender (Lucy) gave a consistent and believable performance, as did Lee Lyons and Michael Wilson.

Natalie Stevens, in her first acting part, proved to be very competent as Anna Truman.

Other parts were played by Stephen Whitehead and Richard Moore, both bringing gravitas to their roles.

The play was directed by Tara Buchanan, and was enjoyed immensely by an enthusiastic audience.