Whodunnit mystery spoof at Feilding theatre
Sir Reginald Bishop has died. The rellies rally around at Checkmate Manor for the reading of Sir Regie’s last will and testament, and then they start dying.
That’s the theme of Murder at Checkmate Manor, a play within the play Feilding Little Theatre is producing for its end-of-year season.
Director Heidi Jeynes said the actual play was about the drama society putting on the whodunnit show, and the personalities and backstage politics that go with it.
The comedy called The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society – Murder Mystery is on at the theatre for two weeks from Friday.
Jeynes had directed the piece for the Marton Players about 10 years ago. Two cast members, Annie Whitfield and Leslie White, from that production are back playing the same characters, Phoebe Reece and Pawn the butler.
‘‘It’s a light-hearted comedy about an all-woman theatre society performing a play with a big body count, and there are things that go wrong deliberately during the show.’’
Jeynes said the production is in similar vein as the Olivier Award-winning comedy The Play That Goes Wrong that has just finished a main centre tour of the country, or Michael Green’s The Art of Coarse Acting one-act plays.
She said there will be some audience participation in the form of a quiz with a prize, and also a random fashion parade at the end of act one.
‘‘It's a light-hearted comedy about an all-woman theatre society performing a play with a big body count, and there are things that go wrong deliberately during the show.’’ Heidi Jeynes, director
‘‘The women like to show off the many talents that they think they have. There’s rivalry between group president Mrs Reece and Thelma, who is a (not so terribly good) dressmaker and wants to show off her costume skills.’’
Jeynes will also be playing the role of Thelma.
As well as spot-on comic timing and delivery, the actors faced the added challenge of playing different characters and making slick switches between them.
The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society – Murder Mystery runs at Feilding’s Stafford St theatre until November 25 with dinner and show, and high tea options with bookings on 323 5051 and through Eventfinda.
Annie Whitfield, Valerie Ottaway, Leslie White, Peter MacKenzie and Heidi Jeynes in a scene from Feilding Little Theatre’s spoof murder mystery.