The Mirror Crack’d sees Miss Marple convalescing at her home in St Mary Mead having injured her ankle – conveniently rendering her safely away from the action. She discovers from quizzing her domestic Cherry and (Chief) Inspector Craddock that a local woman seemingly of little importance, Heather Leigh, has been murdered at a cocktail party in the grand house where Hollywood movie star Marina Gregg has recently moved in.
When it transpires that Heather had taken the glass meant for Marina, suspicions arise that the movie star was in fact the intended victim of the poisoned daiquiri!
A Christie done badly follows the mechanics of the plot and moves the characters around like chess pieces. Clever but superficial. One of the delights of Rachel Wagstaff’s adaptation is while she remains faithful to the spirit of the original, she actively mines the emotional pockets of the story to great effect.
Director Philip Franks has well drilled the cast, superbly choreographing key scenes from different angles to reflect each suspect’s viewpoint.
Joe McFadden is the dashing husband, seemingly to devoted to his wife. While somewhat underused, it is nice to see him use his Strictly skills in a dream-sequence dance at the top of the show. Sophie Ward gives a great Marina Gregg, the fading and troubled Hollywood star. Faxing in a superficial charm to her fans, behind closed doors is a darker proposition. Mercurially switching between vulnerability and manipulative, Ward draws the eye as a Hollywood star should.
Veronica Roberts does an entertaining turn as the unstoppable Dolly Bantry, Miss Marple’s robust and redoubtable village friend, while Oliver Boot playing (Chief) Inspector Craddock treads a well-balanced line between fondness and irascibility for the his “aunt Jane” who helped raise him when his mother died.
There was a publishing tradition where Dame Agatha’s latest novel became “a Christie for Christmas”. Original Theatre Company’s The Mirror Crack’d is not just for Christmas – it continues way into 2023 and if you are a Christie fan, this top-notch adaptation with a fabulous Marple is a must-see!
There’s no mystery whether The Recs enjoyed The Mirror Crack’d – a ★★★★★ (5-star) delight
The Mirror Crack'd Tour
This excellent murder-mystery will play:
Southend Palace Theatre: 28 November - 3 December 2022
Cambridge Arts Theatre: 31 January - 4 February 2023
Wycombe Swan: 7 - 11 February 2023
Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham: 14 - 18 February 2023
Rose Theatre, Kingston: 21 - 25 February 2023
His Majesty's Aberdeen: 28 February - 4 March 2023Click Here