Laura’s theatre debut is a dead cert
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