Smart thriller keeps a tight grip

What an absolute joy to go to the opening night of the four-week murder mystery season at Devonshire Park Theatre in Eastbourne and see a World Premiere.

Murder Weapon by Brian Clemens creator of The Avengers is an excellent play and is not so much a who dunnit but who did not do it. The tightly written script has so many red herrings you are gripped from beginning to end.

Philip Stewart gives a brilliant performance as the mental ex-convict who is discovered at the beginning of the play standing over the dead body of Paul Tulliver holding a gun.

The crime is discovered by Paul’s wife and her friend Jessica Bligh, the new Chief Constable, when they return from a choral evening.

Jessica Bligh reminded me of Jane Tennyson in Prime Suspect and Claire Vousden is excellent in the role as she has just the right presence to over-rule her Inspector well played by John Hester, as she is not convinced they have arrested the right man.

Jo Castleton is also well cast as Paul’s distraught widow whilst Ben Roddy confuses us all in the role that he plays. To say more would spoil the plot but he is very good and even confuses the audience.

The play is well directed by Patric Kearns and as this was the first time it had seen the light of day in front of an audience it ran very smoothly with no hitches and deserves to be seen again.

By Amanda Wilkins