The Case of the Frightened Lady: Review

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Taking place in 1932, The Case of the Frightened Lady tells of a murder mystery taking place at the Lebanon family’s ancestral home, and the series of sinister events which quickly follow.

The Case of the Frightened Lady offers much in the way of suspense, drama and play along murder solving, but does it deliver?

Not so much.

The show unfortunately, was not as enthralling as the idea.

For a performance with such an interesting premise, it is lacking in some departments.

Rather than having me clinging on the edge of my seat, somewhere between enthrallment and suspense, it instead had me patiently waiting for a genuinely exciting conversation, or a joke that I could commit to laughing at.

Some lines seemed like attempts at humour, but from where I was sitting, none of them came close to the mark.

In accompaniment to this on some other occasions, the lengthy pauses experienced between characters made it seem like the actors occasionally had forgotten their lines.

When it came to the characterisation however, all of the characters were well defined, with each falling into one trope or another, such as, a rich baroness with secrets to hide, a suspicious horny old man, charming and rambunctious Lord, alongside a host of other colourful characters.

It’s clear what they were going for on all accounts, but none proved to be overly inspiring.

Characters such as Chief Superintendent Tanner, portrayed by Gray O’Brian and Ben Nealon as Lord Lebanon were clear stand-outs throughout, and proved to be both interesting and enjoyable to watch.

Unfortunately, one of the other stand-out characters, The Frightened Lady herself, Isla Crane, portrayed by original Skins’ cast member, April Pearson seemed wasted at times in a role of that seemed to predominantly comprise of shrieking and fleeing in fear.

For what it lacks in script quality, it more than makes up for in deafening sound affects.

The majority of the audio was jarring and proved to be overly surprising to most. Less so in an exciting tension building way, and more so in an eardrum bursting kind of way.

When it comes to an ending, The Case of the Frightened Lady reaches its crescendo and ends after what feels like a minute after having to painstakingly observe the drawn out performance.

The close frustratingly leaves an exceptional amount for loose ends after filling the script with countless amounts of unrelated and unnecessary information.

Overall, I felt that the show was rather dull throughout, until the the ending which gets interesting moments before it finishes, and even then feels a little bit of a cop out.

Whilst this review may sound scathing, I would have to say that I don’t believe the actors were at fault.

Personally I was unimpressed with the scripting and staging, and found the performance rather un-engaging.

Perhaps I’m simply the wrong audience, but to those considering buying a ticket, I’d recommend spending your money elsewhere.

The Case of the Frightened Lady is at the Regent Theatre, Hanley from 19-24 March 2018.

See website for details.

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