Reviewed by Louise Edwards
Dangerous Corner, written by J B Priestley in 1932, is showing this week at the Nottingham Playhouse. It is the second play in the Colin McIntyre Classic Thriller Season which is relocated from the Nottingham Theatre Royal due to building works.
The action, set in the 1930’s glamour, takes place in the drawing room of Freda and Robert Caplan, played by Charlotte Chinn and Chris Sheridan. There is a cast of seven characters; the Caplans’ plus four friends and an acquaintance, Miss Mockridge, played by Susan Earnshaw, who is in awe of the close friendship the others share.
The group discuss casually the new book written by one of the group Olwyn Peel, played by Jo Castletown, about whether it is always best to know the truth. The men then move to another room and the women admire a white owl in the garden. They are suddenly startled by the noise of a shot which brings up the subject of Martin, brother of Robert Caplan, who had shot himself the summer before shortly after a sum of £500 had gone missing. It is presumed to have been him that had taken it.
The men return apologising for causing any alarm by firing a revolver into the night sky, and the music restarts with drinks flowing and lively chat. A musical chocolate box is offered around, which starts a debate about where it came from. Gradually the discussions become more heated and accusations fly, subtly raising questions and unravelling the truth about Martin’s death. Feeling uncomfortable Miss Mockridge makes her excuses and leaves and the first half ends on a shocking revelation.
As relationships disintegrate and long held secrets are revealed we learn more about the characters, pushing some to the brink of emotions and tragically another shot rings out in the night flipping the action back to earlier scenes. We now see the characters, with the knowledge gleaned, in a different light. At the flip of the piano keys the mood is lightened and an alternative scenario is played out for us.
We were gripped by this amazing thriller performed by Tabs Productions talented actors, some of whom are cast in one of the other shows in the season. It is not only cleverly written but the timing and drama is executed to perfection. Highly recommended!
Nottingham playhouse is located on the edge of the Park estate a short walk from the city centre. There are restaurants in the area and plenty of parking for a small charge.
Tickets cost from £16 to £24 (booking fees may apply).
Dangerous Corner is at the Notingham Playhouse from 18-22 July 2017, for more information or to book tickets visit www.nottinghamplayhouse.co.uk or call the box office on 0115 941 9419.
Nottingham Playhouse, Wellington Circus, Nottingham, NG1 5AF | 0115 941 9419