The People Show 121 delivers an hour of captivating truly British murder mystery fun in this charming three-person show. We are welcomed to the auditorium by the narrator of the piece, Gareth Brierly, who leads us through the performance where he and the other two actors (Mark Long and Fiona Creese) multi-role as various characters with skill and wit.
We are informed of all the main features of the plot by Brierly; he tells us of a murder of a young tour guide which needs to be solved. The charm of this show is the breaking of the fourth wall. Brierly slips with ease in and out the storyline both to take on the narrative role and that of the main suspect in the mystery. The cast take on a multitude of roles using different coats and hats to symbolise their characters. In true Agatha Christie style, the murder mystery takes on a series of new twists and turns and the clues build up, keeping the audience guessing throughout.
The irony of the piece made it particularly quaint. Brierly began by telling us there would be no pastiche, no mime and none of the tack of typical British murder mystery which we would usually be expecting. However, as the show unfolds, the performance becomes full of little touches that remind us of the mysteries that made Poirot, Christie and even Taggart famous.
The show is an enjoyable evening’s viewing - the actors perform which passion and charisma - but at points it lacks pace and I found myself losing interest. The intelligence and wit of the comedy varied tremendously; in parts it sometimes seemed amateurish. In the end the show just becomes a send up of plot twists instead of the adequate mystery that the audience want. Charming and British, this show may excite the older generation more than the younger.