REVIEW: Deathtrap (Yvonne Arnaud Theatre) ★★★★

Deathtrap; a truly satisfactory spine-chiller…….

So without giving too much away, Deathtrap tells the story of a once-successful playwright Sidney Bruhl, who tries to kill the author of a brilliant new whodunit in an attempt to claim the story as his own.

As with most thrillers, This is a tricky one to review as there are so many twists and turns throughout the show but what I can say is how GOOD it was!

Paul Bradley certainly makes his Sidney believable. Here is the tired, failing older man, desperate to cling on to what he has. But you also have to believe the lengths he will go to get what he wants, which is not always so evident. There’s also excellent support from Jessie Wallace as Sidney’s devoted and fearful wife, Myra.

The young playwright, Cliff Anderson, is deftly played by Sam Philips, and he truly shines in his performance as the young man who wants to write a mystery as good as that of his hero, Sidney Bruhl.
Meanwhile as psychic neighbor Helga Ten Dorp, Beverly Klein hams it to the rafters and the audience were in fits of laughter during her scenes and she strongly reminded me of Madame Arcati in the Noel Coward play, Blithe Spirit.

There is a great set to enjoy from designer Morgan Large — And he ably captures everything you can imagine about a writer’s New England home and James Whiteside’s lighting design and the sound design are excellent.

“Deathtrap” offers a riveting blend of suspense, horror and hilarity.

Reviewed by Neil Mcfarlane