IF the unusually packed audience at the Connaught Theatre, Worthing, for the opening night of Death by Fatal Murder on Tuesday was there to see “Dirty Den” Leslie Grantham, they’d have been disappointed.
But if they were there to see the last of Peter Gordon’s Inspector Pratt trilogy regardless of who was in it, they’d have gone away absolutely delighted.
For this winning formula, following the success of Murdered to Death at the Connaught last year, had everyone in hysterics and I didn’t hear a word uttered about the last-minute replacement of Mr Grantham, who would have, to be fair, been in a relatively small role.
It was David Callister as the bumbling Inspector Pratt who absolutely stole the show. Not only side-splittingly funny with the lines he was given, he had us all laughing even harder when an over-zealous bang of the door lead to part of it falling off in his hands, followed by an over-enthusiastic spitting out of tea that nearly had him in hysterics himself.
Also enjoyed was Katy Manning’s performance as psychic Blodwyn Morgan, especially during her séance to raise the spirits of the manor.
This is a top-rate production, which takes the country house murder format and turns it into winning comedy.
Death by Fatal Murder runs until Saturday, October 22, at 7.30pm daily with a matinée on Saturday at 2.30pm.