The Classic Thriller Theatre Company brings us an adaptation of Ruth Rendell’s A Judgement in Stone, about contrasting class and social values in the 1970’s.
The play follows the story of Eunice Parchman, a housekeeper at Lowfield Hall, the home of the wealthy Coverdale Family.
When the curtain rises, we find Eunice sat alone in the exquisitely detailed grand dining room of the house.
Sophie Ward does a fantastic job of portraying the socially awkward and educationally challenged character of Eunice.
As the action begins, we are introduced to two detectives as we discover that they are investigating a massacre which took place on Valentine’s day.
Flashbacks outline the events leading up to the night in question, with seamless transitions including atmospheric lighting and props.
The action moves at a slow pace and lacks a bit of energy, so it is a breath of fresh air when local post mistress and ex-prostitute, Joan Smith (played by Deborah Grant) bursts onto the stage.
Her singing and dancing at the end of Act 1 was the highlight of the show, leaving the audience with a smile on their faces as they awaited the second act.
Despite the actor’s talents, some of the character’s lack dimension, resulting in a lack of engagement and sympathy from the audience.
There is a shortage of suspense as the murders approach, therefore we are left with an anti-climax and a feeling of dissatisfaction.
However, the cast’s performance and moments of comedy will keep you entertained all night.
This play may not have you sat on the edge of your seat, but it will provide you with a night of escapism that you can sit back and enjoy.
A Judgement in Stone is at the Regent Theatre, Hanley until 22 July 2017. Visit the website for tickets.