Agatha Christie’s Verdict

IF YOU are expecting a good old ‘who dunnit’ when you roll up to see Agatha Christie’s Verdict at Theatre Royal Brighton this week, think again.

The play, set in the 1930s, is unlike anything she has penned before.

There is the traditional murder but instead of the thrill of guessing who did it, you are fully aware.

There is also no Poirot-esque detective and the answers to everything are handed to you on a plate.

Instead Christie offers an in depth psychological look at the relationships between men and women.

The plot follows university professor Karl Hendryk, played superbly by Robert Duncan, who is selecting his students for the year to come.

Neurotic and rich Helen Rollander played by Holly Goss, demands to be taught by him because she is in love with him.

When he refuses her affection she gives his ill wife an overdose and watches her die in her wheelchair.

An emotional rollercoaster follows where the professor and his wife’s cousin Lisa Koletzky admit their love for each other.

But the breaking point comes when Karl finds out Helen has killed his wife - but he refuses to tell the police, seeing Lisa put on trial for the murder.

The play sends the audience hurtling through a range of emotions and offers an unexpected and dark humour.

The star of the show for me was Elizabeth Power, playing Mrs Roper. Although her part was small, she was funny and believable.

I felt some of the other characters let their accents slip a little. There was also a feeling of detachment from the main characters and it was hard to care about their plight.

The set was amazing and you felt like you had been catapulted back to the 30s – I particularly admired the wonderful costumes.

I once again find myself taking my hat off to the Theatre Royal and the Agatha Christie Theatre Company. Although not a traditional Christie, they have branched out and welcomed something new and refreshing to the stage.

A must see for those who are eager to be open minded and see something different from the legendary Queen of Crime.

The play runs from Tuesday July 19 until Saturday July 23.

To book visit call Ambassador Tickets on 0844 871 7615 or box office 08448 717 650.