Laura’s theatre de­but is a dead cert

Irish Daily Mail - - Coffee Break - by Claire Mur­rihy

Not Dead Enough Verdict: Thrilling

THE pre­miere of Peter James’ Not Dead Enough took place in the Bord Gais En­ergy Theatre and all eyes were on TV pre­sen­ter Laura Whit­more as she made her pro­fes­sional act­ing de­but.

Whit­more plays Cleo Morey in the tense thriller be­side a ver­i­ta­ble Who’s Who of the soap opera world.

Shane Ritchie (Eastenders) and Bill Ward (Coro­na­tion Street and Emmerdale) share the lead role of De­tec­tive Su­per­in­ten­dent Roy Grace - a man tasked with de­ter­min­ing whether Brian Bishop (played by former Cor­rie vil­lain Stephen Billing­ton) re­ally mur­dered his wife.

Fea­tur­ing sharp dia­logue and plenty of ban­ter, the fast-mov­ing play pro­vides lots of twists and turns. At the end of the first act, the un­nerved crowd left the au­di­to­rium, ea­ger to dis­cuss their the­o­ries about how it would fin­ish as the tale left many on the edges of their seats.

Whit­more gives a solid per­for­mance as the mor­tu­ary as­sis­tant with a com­pli­cated love life. Her nat­u­ral delivery makes for com­pelling view­ing and while she will un­doubt­edly re­lax even more into the role as the show con­tin­ues, she eas­ily holds her own against her more ex­pe­ri­enced col­leagues, par­tic­u­larly with the swap of Ward and Ritchie.

Stag­ing this drama must have been a com­pli­cated process but di­rec­tor Ian Tal­bot’s use of se­lec­tive light­ing to por­tray on­go­ing scenes works ex­cep­tion­ally well and the viewer is never dis­tracted from the plot.

The end­ing falls a lit­tle flat but de­spite that, this is a grip­ping piece of theatre that is a must-see for fans of Peter James nov­els.

Not Dead Enough is in the Bord Gais En­ergy Theatre un­til April 22nd.

On stage: Laura Whit­more

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