Skip to content

FringeGuru

 
Murder, Marple and Me
Published on Saturday, 18 August 2012
3

3 stars

Gilded Balloon Teviot (venue website)
Theatre
1-12, 14-19, 21-26 Aug, 3:15pm-4:15pm
Reviewed by Mathilda Gregory

 Parents or guardians should consider the content of this show if children are attending.

This cleverly-constructed show brings together Margaret Rutherford, Miss Marple (one of Rutherford’s most famous roles), and Marple’s creator Agatha Christie, to tell an inventive tale of showbiz and secrets. Janet Prince gives a versatile, restrained performance as all three characters, and shines throughout – even giving us an ad-lib when a suitcase falls shut unexpectedly. But despite her acting skill, the three similar characters did get muddled at times. Some more props to delineate the three, particularly Christie from Rutherford, would have been useful; I got it wrong once or twice.

The show opens with an intriguing prologue from Rutherford as she dreams of a disturbing event in her childhood. The exact nature of this event slowly unfolds through the show. But the fact that these are real events in a real person’s life, blended with the fictional detective work of a famous spinster of St Mary Mead, does jar at times. Rutherford, because of her past, at first declaimed the idea of murder mysteries as sordid – and when we see a real tragedy being chuckled over by an old lady while she knits, it feels like she could have been right. The tone of the show is distinctly odd.

Rutherford’s story is the key to this piece, and Rutherford is the real star. She is brought to life, strikingly real and full of complications. It is a shame that Christie, possibly an even more intriguing character, doesn’t feel so solid. Where Rutherford lives and breathes in front of us in this tiny space, Christie is a mass of contradictions and nothing seems to be revealed.

This is an enjoyable, solid show. It’s mainly hung around an intriguing real-life crime story, making it probably more plot-driven than you would expect from this kind of intimate character study. The final reveal is satisfying and shocking… and the show even ends with a genuinely laugh-out-loud punchline.

<< Who's Your Daddy?   The Letters of Jane Auste... >>

FROM OUR ARCHIVES

These are archived reviews of shows from Edinburgh 2012.  We keep our archives online as a courtesy to performers, and for readers who'd like to research previous years' reviews.

Edinburgh 2012 Five Stars

5 stars Comedy
Totally Tom


5 stars Comedy
The Magical Adventures of Pete Heat


5 stars Theatre
Bye Bye World


5 stars Comedy
Barbershopera: The Three Musketeers


5 stars Comedy
Truth


5 stars Theatre
The House of Shadows


5 stars Cabaret
Briefs


5 stars Theatre
Made for Each Other - Free


5 stars Comedy
Tony Law: Nonsense Overdrive


5 stars Comedy
Ivo Graham and Liam Williams


5 stars Comedy
Hannibal Buress: Still Saying Stuff


5 stars Comedy
The Blanks' Big Break


5 stars Theatre
A Clockwork Orange


5 stars Comedy
Richard Wiseman: Psychobabble


5 stars Comedy
Martin Mor: A Man You Donít Meet Everyday


5 stars Theatre
1984


5 stars Comedy
Swedenborg, the Devil and Me


5 stars Theatre
The Trench


5 stars Theatre
Casablanca: The Gin Joint Cut


5 stars Theatre
Joyced!


5 stars Theatre
An Evening With Dementia


5 stars Comedy
Scott Agnew: Tales of the Sauna


5 stars Theatre
Comedian Dies in the Middle of Joke


5 stars Comedy
Chris Ramsey: Feeling Lucky


5 stars Comedy
The Horne Section - Live at the Grand!


5 stars Theatre
How to Disappear Completely and Never Be Found


5 stars Theatre
The Life and Sort of Death of Eric Argyle


5 stars Theatre
Songs of Lear


5 stars Cabaret
Jonny Woo: Wonder Woo-Man


5 stars Comedy
Josie Long: Romance and Adventure


5 stars Comedy
10 Films With My Dad


5 stars Theatre
4.48 Psychosis


5 stars Theatre
As You Like It


5 stars Theatre
Appointment With The Wicker Man


5 stars Comedy
Jessie Cave: Bookworm


5 stars Comedy
Morgan & West: Lying, Cheating Scoundrels


5 stars Theatre
Hearts on Fire


5 stars Theatre
Rainbow


5 stars Comedy
Chris Dangerfield: Sex Tourist


5 stars Comedy
Chris McCausland: Not Blind Enough


5 stars Theatre
Chatroom


5 stars Comedy
Peacock & Gamble Don't Even Want To Be On Telly Anyway


5 stars Theatre
I Heart Hamas: And Other Things I'm Afraid to Tell You


5 stars Comedy
John Robertson - The Dark Room - Free


5 stars Kids'
Dr Brown Brown Brown Brown Brown and His Singing Tiger