THE much-anticipated new Peter James play, Dead Simple, opened to a packed audience at the Theatre Royal on Monday.
Starring Tina Hobley, Jamie Lomas and Gray O’Brien it was a rollercoaster of a ride for the entire duration with plenty of jaw dropping twists and turns.
The play is based on a book by the international, best-selling Sussex author who has written a number of crime novels, and sees a stag night go chillingly wrong. Those who have read the book may wonder how on earth such a tale could be adapted for stage but it worked wonderfully with different story scenes taking place at several different sections of the stage ensuring minimal changes.
From the start, the audience is led to believe that Lomas who plays Michael and Hobley who plays Ashley are very much in love and looking forward to their impending nuptials but all is most certainly not what it seems.
After the arrival of Ashley’s Canadian uncle who allegedly played a part in her upbringing, Michael is blindfolded and taken by the members of his stag party to a plot in the Ashdown Forest where is he put in a coffin and left with just a breathing tube and a walky-talky.
The audience was kept on the edge of their seats waiting to find out Michael’s fate when they learn his stag party were all killed when their van crashes leaving him trapped – and no-one knowing his location.
Full credit must be given to Josh Brown who stole the show with his portrayal of Davey Wheeler, a young man with learning difficulties who takes the second walky-talky from the scene of the crash and begins to communicate with Michael...
The audience soon responded to the black humour of the play and there was plenty of laughter interspersed with gasps. If you have the chance to see this production – it’s Dead Simple – do.
It will run at the Theatre Royal, Brighton, until Saturday February 28.