Any production of
Simona Armstrong is superbly cast and revels in her role as a psychic Croatian prostitute.
Victor and Joan Smiley have lived on the Sussex coast for the past twenty years and are thoroughly bored and irritated by each other; Joan with his snoring, and Victor with her spending. Shaun Mckenna’s bickering dialogue is sharp and, whilst not highly original, very amusing. Channeling a good deal of Basil and Sybil Fawlty, Wallace adopts a distinctly Prunella Scales-like laugh, as both she and Richie keep the comedy rolling. Joan is engagingly annoying, picking at her husband to gain his attention, and it is a keenly observed depiction of the everyday nastiness that goes on in couples out of love. Ultimately, they just don't want to have sex with each other any more and are successfully exploring alternatives.
Victor has fallen for the Croatian prostitute he visits three times a week and decides that the only way he can be with her is to cash in Joan’s life insurance policy. As a long-standing student of the great murder mystery genre he starts hatching a murder plan, keeping in mind the great question… what would Sherlock do? Suffice to say, all does not proceed as planned.
Simona Armstrong is superbly cast and revels in her role as a psychic Croatian prostitute. Her humorous pauses and facial physicality were the highlight of many scenes. With a dolls house style set by Michael Holt making efficient use of the space, the interior decor contributes to the crushingly mundane atmosphere that the main protagonists inhabit.
As expected from an adaptation of a number one bestseller, the plot is tight; with enough twists to keep everything moving forward, although the pacing of the second half began to drag before we reached the final scene. If you enjoy suburban horror stories, then this is a comedy crime caper that will delight.