By Susanne Wussow
Now that Covid is pretty much in the background, I went to the Marsh Street Centre to see the latest production by the Thornbury Community Theatre. The opening “curtain warmer” was A Love Unbecoming, a 1950’s one-act radio show, as mystery, comedy, play-within-a play. It was an amusing and entertaining play, with the main actors – Barb Wilson, Jeff Wilson, and Andy Dumas – well known to the Thornbury Community Theatre audience.
The second play, The Real Inspector Hound, was written by Tom Stoppard, a well known and Oscar-winning (for Shakespeare in Love) playwright. It was a murder mystery play-within-a-play set in England in the 1950s, with two theatre critics sitting to the side of the action and commenting on the play’s activities. They reminded me of Statler and Waldorf, the Muppet Show critics, but with fewer cutting jibes.
The cut-off-from-the-outside-world manor house showcased a variety of characters, any one of whom could have been the murderer. The odd maid, the ravishing lady of the manor, the peculiar brother visiting from Canada, the police detective, etc. were all in over the top farce mode, and as the play progressed one of the two critics forgot that he was there to observe and entered the play himself.
Stoppard, who had also been a theatre critic, wrote it as a parody of murder mysteries, and highlighting the self-indulgent reviews of critics.
A whodunit – with a twist!
A Love Unbecoming and The Real Inspector Hound
Thornbury Community Theatre, Marsh Street Centre, Clarksburg
May 12 – 14, $30