Who­dun­nit mys­tery spoof at Feild­ing the­atre

Feilding-Rangitikei Herald - - Your Local News - RICHARD MAYS

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.

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

An­nie Whit­field, Valerie Ot­t­away, Les­lie White, Peter MacKen­zie and Heidi Jeynes in a scene from Feild­ing Lit­tle The­atre’s spoof mur­der mys­tery.

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