Theatre review: The Mirror Crack’d at Norwich Theatre Royal

Theatre review: The Mirror Crack’d at Norwich Theatre Royal

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This year I really wanted to go to the theatre more but see something out of my comfort zone. Yesterday, I went to the opening night of The Mirror Crack’d, a Miss Marple story at Norwich Theatre Royal.

Susie Blake & Oliver Boot in The Mirror Crack'd - Ali Wright-14

About the show

Miss Marple returns to the stage…

1960s England and a wind of change is blowing through the land.

It has even reached the sleepy village of St. Mary Mead. There’s a new housing estate to make the villagers curious and fearful. And even stranger, a rich American film star has bought the Manor House.

Jane Marple, confined to a chair after an accident, is wondering if life has passed her by.

Then there is a vicious murder, and Miss Marple must unravel a web of lies, tragedy and danger.

This adaptation of Agatha Christie’s famous novel brings real emotional depth and psychological insight to a thrilling story of revenge and the dark secrets that we all hide.

But can anything be hidden from Miss Marple, the sweet old lady with mind like a steel trap?

Susie Blake & Sophie Ward in The Mirror Crack'd - Ali Wright-165

A personal review of The Mirror Crack’d

To be completely honest, I didn’t really know much about Miss Marple but this play is based on Agatha Christie’s novel, The Mirror Crack’d From Side to Side. However, what I did know was that it was a murder mystery, something I’d never seen before on stage.

Starring as Miss Marple, Susie Blake is absolutely wonderful. Starting off as a lonely older lady with a sprained ankle and somewhat confined to her home, Miss Marple is clearly quite bored and needs something to do. Luckily, she has some home help in the form of Cherry Baker, played by Mara Allen. Miss Marple is very quick-witted with a clear passion for getting to the bottom of the mystery but her care for others and compassion quickly made me fall in love with her.

The play really gets started when someone dies, well, get’s murdered, at a drinks party of Hollywood movie star Marina Greg and her husband Jason Rudd (Sophie Ward and Joe McFadden). Miss Marple’s long-time friend Chief Inspector Craddock, played by Oliver Boot arrives to try to uncover the mystery of whodunnit!

Susie Blake in The Mirror Crack'd - Ali Wright-8

Told through some flashbacks, the characters are interrogated by Chief Inspector Craddock to find out what really happened at the drinks party. Heard differently, or seen from a different perspective, everyone has something to say but what really happened? We slowly get to know more about all of the characters, Miss Marple included, and this allows us to attempt to put the clues together!

There are not an awful lot of props in this play, meaning changing from one setting to another is done quickly without much messing around on the stage. It’s easy to shift from Miss Marple’s living room to a movie set to Marina and Jason’s home with the shift of a few small props and the large box, lit up as to serve as a background for each scene.

The Mirror Crack’d really kept me guessing throughout and until close to the end I was never really sure who the murderer was. If you’ve read the book, this won’t be much of a surprise but I was happy to be kept on my toes and wondering if I’d guessed correctly. There are so many possibilities over the course of the play so no one is to be trusted! This might have been my first whodunnit but it definitely won’t be my last.

The Mirror Crack’d is showing at Norwich Theatre Royal from 8th to 12th November 2022.

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