I love a good whodunnit…who doesn’t?! So I was looking forward to seeing the 3rd play for this year’s Classic Thriller Season at the Theatre Royal “Father Brown: The Curse of the Invisible Man”. 

Father Brown is a favourite TV detective, much like beloved stalwarts such as Jessica Fletcher in Murder She Wrote or the infamous Miss Marple. Their day job is definitely not detective work but they are so good at the psychology of crime solving they are often called upon.

imageThis story centres on a young woman, Ella Hope (Anna Mitcham) who lives with her faithful aunt Diana (Karen Henson).

One day, Ella receives a threatening letter, seemingly from an old flame. He wants something that Aunt Diana has and it seems he will do anything to get it. Reluctant to call on the police, Aunt Diana asks her old friend Father Brown to help them solve this frightening threat to her niece’s safety. Along with the help of Ella and her new beau Angus Turnbull (John Goodrum), the foursome set about catching the crook in the act.

Unfortunately they find themselves seemingly embroiled in danger when the dead body of Ella’s estranged fiancé James is found in her art studio! Father Brown must now find out whodunnit…or does he know already?!

John Lyons (A Touch of Frost fame) plays Father Brown with great aplomb, he was captivating throughout, commanded the stage and was in every scene. The rest of the cast (only 3 of them!) really held their own and all had on stage chemistry. I am a particular fan of Karen Henson, having seen her a fortnight ago in Arsenic and Old Lace, she is consistently brilliant on stage.

imageWhilst I enjoyed the show as a whole, it took a bit to get into, particularly at the very beginning. There was a lot of dialogue to concentrate on and whilst their storytelling was good, I feel it needed more visual. It was a fair bit of sitting and chatting. The action did pick up though later on and you found yourself changing your mind over who the culprit was.

The set was simple but effective, no moving of set needed apart from one prop, it was all in the lighting, you knew where you were in each scene.

I am looking forward to seeing the final instalment of the Classic Thriller Season next week ‘Mind Game’.

Hope to see you there!

Story 7/10

Performance 8/10

Set 8/10