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Murder In Play

It was my birthday recently, and my Gran very kindly sent me a cheque as a present. I have a strict rule that any such welcome windfalls have to be spent on something identifiable and “extra” rather than just going into the general housekeeping fund and being spent on food or bills. My original plan was to have another splurge in a bookshop, but I still have piles of unread books I want to get around to reading. So instead I decided to see what was on at the local theatre and spend the money treating myself to a trip out.

There was a choice of things to see. On Thursday evening, John Williams was giving a guitar recital, and there were just a handful of seats left. I was quite tempted, as I do enjoy his music, but decided against it. That was partly because I am so busy at work at the moment that I needed to catch up in the evening on some report writing before a deadline of Friday afternoon, and partly because John Williams was a particular favourite of Christopher’s. We went several times together to see him play, and I chose a piece by him to play at Christopher’s funeral. So I thought that attending the concert might bring back too many memories and be too upsetting.

Instead, I bought myself a ticket to the Saturday matinee of “Murder in Play” by Simon Brett. It was very light, a comedy murder mystery that made absolutely no demands on anybody – including the cast. It used the hoary old device of a “play within a play”, with a cast of reasonable actors playing the part of very bad actors rehearsing a murder mystery play. It turned out that everyone had a motive for murdering everyone else, and the leading lady got bumped off just before the interval. It was rather a case of “Look at me, I’m such a good actress that I can play a really hammy actress, but do it in such a way that you, the audience, know I’m deliberately putting it on”. I guessed the murderer and motive straightaway, as it was rather telegraphed. But although the plot was about as deep as a puddle, and the hammy acting got more than a bit tedious, it was quite funny and I certainly laughed out loud a good few times. In my considered opinion, it was a pile of crap, but quite a funny pile of crap. And it certainly fitted my requirement for something light, entertaining and undemanding to mark being another year older.