House Guest

The London Repertory Players cast for House Guest. Top row: Mark Spalding, Nikki Kelly, Al Wadlan & Victoria Porter. Bottom row: Jessica Olim, Mitch Capaldi, Hepzibah Roe & Neil James. Runs at the Shelley Theatre until Tues 27th Sep

House Guest: Shelley Theatre, Boscombe 

The London Repertory Players are dishing up this classic Francis Durbridge thriller as the fourth play in their current summer season at the Shelley Theatre and the punters are lapping it up.

 Last night’s opening night was greeted by a packed house that hung on every twist and turn in a wonderfully contrived tale of kidnap, murder and characters who are never quite what they seem.

The remarkable Al Wadlan, who has now had prominent roles in three of the four productions, leads the cast as film star Robert Drury.

He and his wife Stella, played by Victoria Porter, find their perfect Homes and Gardens world turned upside down when their young son is abducted and sinister strangers take over their house.

The plot is vintage Durbridge - utterly nonsensical but so perfectly crafted that you happily buy into it.

The story is set in the 1970s - an almost forgotten world where telephones were on wires but still didn’t work properly and cocktail cabinets were in near constant use.

Wadlan and Porter are excellent as the distraught couple. There are  strong performances too from the supporting cast, particularly Neil James as Inspector Burford and Mark Spalding as the mysterious and intimidating Major Crozier.

Former Hi de Hi star Nikki Kelly, who guested with the rep’ last year is back as family friend Dorothy Medway. While Jessica Olim who made her LRP debut just a week ago as the French Maid in Private Lives is a magazine journalist with a secret agenda.

A new face Mitch Capaldi plays Burford’s sidekick  Sergeant Clayton and company regular Hephzibah Roe is Jane Mercer, Drury’s loyal but baffled secretary.

A final character, Philip Henderson, makes a late appearance adding to the labarythine plot and allowing for a little anagramatic fun in the programme. House Guest is enormous fun and one of those plays that keeps you guessing until the very last moment. It’s on at the Shelley until Tuesday 27th August.

The final play of the rep’ season, Janet Green’s Murder Mistaken, follows from Thursday 29th August to Tuesday 3rd September.

Jeremy Miles
















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