Agatha Christie caused a stir when she adapted her Death on the Nile for the stage, altering it nominally to Murder on the Nile, and conspicuously denying the moustach-etted detective his role de force. Fortunately, this production provides the reintroduction of Monsieur Poirot in the form of Matt Lacey, who delivers with estimable gravitas and faultless ‘langue Belgique’.
Quite brilliantly, Lacey’s Poirot combines volatility with an aloofness that allows for the character interaction Christie had so sought. Indeed, these interactions, between the highly innovative minor characters especially, are the source of much of the play’s humour; of particular note is the bohemian-clad Salome Otterbourne (Emerald Fennell) in all her sexual and passionate theatricality. Poirot blushes masterfully at her advances, while Colonel Race (George Carr) fastidiously revels in this build-up to the dénouement.
Grace Overbeke, moreover, is distinguished in her leading role as the ignorant yet manipulative down-on-her-luck American, while her ‘so English’ fiancé Simon Doyle (Jamie Brindley), maintains a manly rapport with the bevy of stylish women on stage. All in all, the play is an energetic mixture of tension and humour, executed by an enthusiastic cast committed to the era of glamour.
Dir. Steve Lomon
Worcester Gardens, 7.30pm