Playhouse finds new murder mystery
By Art Thomas
Published Sept. 14, 2005
is always at least one production which I have not seen before in
each Clague Playhouse season. Often the show is an interesting or
quirky one which suits the Clague facility. That is the case with
"Something to Hide," their first production of the season.
One of an endless number of British murder-mysteries, "Something
to Hide" offers a new plot and characters and is a refreshing change
from the stodgy Agatha Christie scripts that so many theaters rehash.
Kudos to Clague for selecting the script not seen in this area before.
The time is 1959 in suburban Essex, England. Howard Holt is a writer
of novels which are conveniently published by his more-successful
wife, Karen. Howard is a true ladies' man and is having an affair
on the side. When is wife accidentally runs her car into his mistress,
they have to create a story for the police that will protect them
to Hide," featuring Carrie Herbert and Mark McCarthy, runs
at the Clague Playhouse through Oct. 2.
follows is layer on layer of deception and unraveling by the persistent
police detective Davies. There are some twists, but it is the talented
cast under the capable direction of Doug Farren that makes the show
Carrie Hebert is the distraught wife who seems to be a victim both
of circumstances and of her own making. Statuesque and imposing,
Hebert's intensity is a strong point in this production.
Mark McCarthy has a weaker role to start with in Howard, but approaches
it with such ingenuity that we in the audience have to buy into
Robert Hawkes is the most fun as the probing detective Davies. "Something
to Hide" features the only British Detective I know of who casually
accepts a drink while doing an interrogation and from his subject,
In the rest of the cast are Sheldon Lawrence as an entertaining
character of a mechanic, and Roberta McLaughlin as a nosey neighbor
with a potential for trouble.
Krista Schwandt is a maid who is far too inquisitive and Nicole
Smith has a small role as the "other" woman.
I saw "Something to Hide" at a dress rehearsal through the courtesy
of director Doug Farren. He adeptly moves the actors, but should
have spent time cutting a fourth of the clunky script's second act.
Leslie Sands' script needs a good pruning for today's audiences.
Ron Newell's set is a creditable reproduction of a British former
toll house--after all, how many have any of us seen? Kristen Buchs'
lighting and Casey Jones' sound effectively enhance the show and
add the right type of atmospheres.
"Something to Hide" is something new for us in the Cleveland area.
It runs through Oct. 2 at Clague and is comfortably settled in their
intimate performance space.