THEATRE REVIEW: Dead Simple ★★★

Dead Simple
The Belgrade Theatre, Coventry
26th January 2015

Being Kidnapped by your best friends as a prank on your stag night, then being trapped inside a coffin in a forest, whilst your friends are involved in a drastic car crash, leaving you unknown about it, with only a walkie-talkie and an oxygen tube inside, is the exact setting for Peter James Best Selling Novel, now turned Production, Dead Simple.

With a stellar cast consisting of Holby City’s Tina Hobley, EastEnders Jamie Lomas, and Torchwood’s Rik Makarem, the book is brought to life on stage with so many twists and turns that it hardly gives you time to breath and get your head around the whole situation.

Having not read the book before seeing the production, I entered the auditorium very much in the dark about what I was about to witness, and I feel like that was definitely the best decision, as personally I was very shocked and on the edge of my seat throughout, as I did not see many of the story’s twists coming in the slightest.

I thought that the set was very elaborate and used cleverly throughout, especially when we witnessed Michael trapped inside the coffin, by having a wall on the left side of the stage see through, making us see his every move and moment throughout. I must say that in Act Two, I found the set to be a little less impressive, especially when in the most dramatic parts of the conclusion of the play, where on one side you had the act playing out, the other half of the stage had all the crew on stage changing the scene for the final setting.

I felt myself turn detective is well throughout the play, as I was trying to piece together the mystery at the same time as the characters on stage, and so I felt very proud with myself when I correctly guessed that there was definitely something more to a specific character in the first act, which slowly unravelled in Act Two.

Overall, Dead Simple had a very strong and creative cast and script, which left myself and the audience on the edge of our seats, guessing throughout, but with the distraction of scene changes and some other technical issues with staging, I feel like it hindered the play drew a lot of focus away from the dramatic conclusion on what was a spine-tingling production of a Best Selling Peter James Novel.


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