If there is one young actor who is bound for a stellar career, it is Jonny Warr – make a note of that name – as he set the stage alight in his performance at the Tivoli on Wednesday evening.
It is all the more remarkable because the actor who was due to take the part of the young playwright Clifford had tested positive for Covid the week before, and Jonny took over the part at the last moment, although previously he had not known a word of the play.
The audience agreed and he received enthusiastic applause and cheers at the end.
As soon as we took our seats it was clear this was going to be an interesting play as the walls of the set are adorned with all manner of weapons from axes to swords, handcuffs to daggers and even a bow and arrow.
Deathtrap, which is written by Ira Levin, the author of Rosemary’s Baby, is the longest running comedy thriller on Broadway – and it’s easy to see why.
At first the plotline seems simple. Struggling playwright Sidney Bruhl (Richard Mullins) is sent a script, which he tells his wife Myra (Victoria Porter) is so brilliant that he is prepared to kill the author and claim the work as his own.
But after that the play within a play becomes more complicated, and there are at least three moments which cause the audience to jump. The arrival of psychic Helga (Claire Fisher) adds more tension to the mix, as does Sidney’s attorney Porter Pilgrim (Al Wadlan).
All the actors are skilled professionals – apart from Jonny War who was making his stage debut after graduating from Royal Birmingham Conservatoire last year – with numerous productions on their CVs, making for a hugely polished production.
Wimborne audiences are very lucky to be able to see it as it had been scheduled for a five-week season at the Shelley Theatre in Bournemouth this summer, but the theatre hasn’t re-opened. Instead Charlie North Lewis, the general manager of the Tivoli was happy to accommodate Deathtrap for a three-day run.
There is a performance this afternoon at 2.30pm and this evening at 7.30pm, as well as Friday at 7.30pm.
It is wonderful to see the return of live theatre. Do get a ticket. You won’t be disappointed.
Contact www.tivoliwimborne.co.uk or pop to the box office.
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