Reviewed by Michelle Moloney
This was the first time I’ve been to the theatre since before the pandemic, and the first time I’ve been to Nottingham Playhouse in a couple of years so I was a little wary about how well they would manage to maintain social distancing and safety in the audience. Really I need not have given it a second thought. We were slightly earlier arriving than our tickets said so I approached the member of staff at the door expecting to be told we had to wait outside, in the rain. We were given a run down of the safety measures, which are what we are used to as standard everywhere now. We were assured that we were welcome to go inside if we were happy to do so, and were generally made to feel very welcome. I asked if drinks were available and was informed they had bottled water at the kiosk or we could go into their bar area for hot drinks as, whilst they were open, they were understandably not quite back to full operation yet.
We headed up the stairs to the dress circle and our seats. Theatre staff checked we had the right floor and escorted us in. There was a one way system into and out of the auditorium and social distancing was in place between seated groups of people. I have a hidden disability and find it difficult to be surrounded by people in normal circumstances never mind with the extra concern of the pandemic so honestly this level of spacing is my ideal! Theatre Royal have been granted the use of the See it Safely mark verifying they are following guidelines and ensuring the safety of both staff and guests. Covid safety information is well detailed on their website.
With regards to my disability, Theatre Royal have a very clear access policy which is easily found on their website. They provide a range of services to help make it possible for everyone to attend their facility. I was able to find out everything I needed to know before I attended and my needs were met while I was there too. As with all theatres the rows of seats were quite close to each other with little leg room. I had enough room to be comfortable with my small backpack at my feet and didn’t feel uncomfortable though I imagine a tall person may have felt a little cramped. We had a good view down to the stage and could clearly see everything taking place. There were also binoculars available to rent at our seats, should we have felt the need to use them for a better view of the stage.
Kiss of Death is written by Simon Williams and directed by Karen Henderson. It set in the year 2000 with the story revolving around an actress called Zoe Lang, played by Anna Mitchum, and a plot to catch a serial killer. Zoe attends what she thinks is an improvisation workshop, however this turns out to be an audition to become a part of a police team hunting a serial killer known as “the surgeon” and Zoe becomes the bait as they try to catch him. The play begins in a lecture hall where we are first introduced to Zoe, Bernard (Jeremy Lloyd Thomas) and Brocklebank (Cameron Johnson) with action throughout taking place either in this room or in the derelict flat belonging to John Smith (Andrew Ryan).
Right from the start we were intrigued and drawn in. There were many humorous moments interjected at appropriate intervals throughout, something I hadn’t really been expecting with a thriller. I also enjoyed the many literary references in the script. We jumped along with Zoe at certain moments and thoroughly enjoyed the suspense. The conclusion of the play was great and was not one we saw coming long before it arrived. We felt that the cast had used their individual characteristics extremely well within their roles and each character was excellently and appropriately portrayed.
This play ran for ninety minutes with no interval. Scene changes were marked by the theatre being darkened and appropriately thrilling music was played adding to the intrigue. We really enjoyed this play and would definitely recommend it. The casting was excellent and lighting, music, and props were utilised perfectly throughout so the behind the scenes crew and directors also did a great job. Don’t pass up the chance to see it this week!
After they cast had taken their bows they reminded us that there is one more play left in this years The Colin McIntyre Classic Thriller Season 2021 presented by Tabs Productions and Theatre Royal Nottingham. We have decided we need to go and see it too as Kiss of Death really entertained us and it was so great to be at the theatre again.
Tickets cost £25 to £28 and can be bought from the Theatre Royal website here.
Box Office: 0115 989 5555
Theatre Royal & Royal Concert Hall,
Theatre Square, Nottingham, NG1 5ND