THRILLER: The Cat and the Canary is on in Darlington
THRILLER: The Cat and the Canary is on in Darlington

The Review

The Cat and the Canary

Darlington Hippodrome

SIX distant relatives meet in an old creaking mansion to discover who is about to find out who will inherit the fortune from Cyrus West.

The meeting has been called with strict instructions by the lawyer – at midnight 20 years after his death.

There opens a night of murder, mystery, intrigue and suspense. The Cat and the Canary written by John Willard, adapted by Carl Grose has been directed by Roy Marsden with Bill Kenwright’s Classic Thriller Theatre Company.

This cast certainly has star quality throughout. As the long-serving housekeeper, Mrs Pleasant, Brit Ekland, mutters about the evil in the house and talks to ghosts randomly as she welcomes the guests to the mansion.

Crosby, the lawyer, Eric Carte, takes charge of proceedings until he disappears. The main guests hoping for their fortune appear with Marti Webb as Susan, Ben Nealon as Charlie, Priyasasha Kumari as Cicily, Gary Webster as Harry, Tracy Shaw as Annabelle and Antony Costa as Paul.

It is Tracy Shaw and Antony Costa who produce outstanding performances.

Antony Costa begins as a dithering clumsy fool, but he builds the character perfectly towards the conclusion. Tracy Shaw is just a delight to watch throughout. This may have been written almost 100 years ago, but it feels incredibly fresh. It kept me guessing right to the end.

With an incredible cast this mystery thriller is a perfect whodunnit.

Andrew Harrison