Nigel Dams | 27 Oct 2019 15:56pm
I’ve seen Sleuth several times, from the first memorable movie with Olivier and Caine, the second forgettable movie and two other stage performances, but Lighted Fools surprised me by bringing out the humour in a way I’d never seen before.
Almost from the first line, one felt a springy and mercurial quality to the performance as David Webb begins to unveil his awesome repertoire of accents. As soon as Nick Lund appeares, playing Milo Tindle, the pair begin to spark off each other and deliver lines with pace and verve that had me laughing out loud. A lot.
I really can’t find anything to carp about with this production. Whatever flaws there might have been escaped my eagle eye, and my elkhound ear.
As usual with Lighted Fools, the stage set is the first thing to strike the expectant theatregoer. David Hemsley-Brown deserves special mention – the design and construction are just superb, as always, but also the special effects. I love the way bits of bric-a-brac go flying when shot at.
Lighting, too, is excellent. Subtle, as you want lighting to be, but also effective and well-rehearsed. You want the lights (and the laughing sailor-dummy) to come on when an actor pretends to flick a switch, not marginally early or late. Congratulations to the technical crew.
But back to the actors. They really do a great, great job. There are, obviously, lots and lots of lines in a two-hander, but if there are any lapses, they are too quickly recovered for me to notice. Not once does the pace and vigour slacken.
I mentioned Mr. Webb’s repertoire of accents, which was impressive, as all of them were very convincing. But Mr. Lund sustains a totally believable west-country copper in a way which is, I think, better than any I’ve seen before. Even Sir Michael was not completely convincing in the same role. In that movie, I began to see through the disguise (possibly owing to the curse of the cinema close-up) – but if last night had been the first time I saw the piece I would have been thoroughly fooled. Well done indeed.
I’ve said before, and I’ll risk saying again – the English tradition of amateur dramatic excellence cannot be matched anywhere in the world. Lighted Fools do a superb job of demonstrating once more that you don’t need to spend a hundred pounds and travel to London if you want to see first-class theatre.
Very sincere congratulations to director Richard Parish and all the crew for another wonderfully entertaining evening.
- : admin
- : 24/10/2019