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Death by Fatal Murder

I’ve been feeling pretty miserable recently. It’s nearly a year ago that things went from very serious to critical with Christopher, and I’m really not looking forward to the anniversary of his death. So I thought I would attempt to forcibly cheer myself up by going to the allegedly extremely funny spoof murder mystery that’s on at the theatre. I bought myself a ticket to the Saturday matinée, as I’m still too tired to go out much in the evenings.

When it came to cheering myself up, it wasn’t as successful as I had hoped. It was perhaps unfortunate that Death by Fatal Murder is a sequel to Murdered to Death, which was on at the Malvern Theatres this time last year, and was the last trip out that Christopher and I managed together before he died.  So I couldn’t escape from the painful memories. And the play itself was not particularly good (but then, neither was last years’), though there were some very funny bits and I did laugh out loud on occasion.

It was a spoof of the standard 1940’s country house murder mystery plot. There was an incompetent police inspector, a beautiful widow (or was she?) with a secret, a highly dodgy Italian refugee with an accent dodgier than his past, a completely bonkers Welsh medium, and Miss Joan Maple, an elderly woman with a gift for solving murders. To make it even sillier, throw in a squadron leader believed missing in action but in fact very much alive, a posh land girl with an extremely annoying neigh-like laugh and a junior constable trying to keep his hapless and accident-prone boss in order.

The cast were clearly enjoying themselves. They were hamming it up like mad and on a couple of occasions corpsed it so badly that they couldn’t get their lines out for trying to stifle the giggles. In fact those were two of the genuinely funniest moments in the play.

It really wasn’t particularly good – certainly I wouldn’t expect to see it storming the West End any time soon.  However, it got me out of the house and was better than sitting around feeling sorry for myself, so I was glad I’d made the effort to go.

{ 2 } Comments

  1. Catharine | 17 July 2011 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    *hugs* The first-year anniversary of my mom’s death was really hard. I can hardly imagine what it must be like for a spouse’s death. Good for you for getting out of the house!

  2. Matt | 21 July 2011 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    Dear Gillian,

    You won’t know me at all. I am Publications Officer at Merton College, Christopher’s old Oxford college. One of the more sobering tasks in my role is to write ‘In Memoriam’ pieces for alumni that have passed away, when we have not already received one.

    We had very little information on Christopher, so I took to trying to find out more about him on the internet, which brought me to this site.

    I have just spent the last hour reading through various blog entries, sometimes smiling, but often with tears in my eyes. The only thing that I am now confident of is that what I am writing will not do Christopher justice.

    I would very much welcome your assistance in marking Christopher’s passing with a suitable piece in the college magazine (you should have my email address from this comment), but equally understand if you would rather not.

    Either way, my thoughts are with you.

    Matt Bowdler