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REVIEW: A Shoddy Detective & The Art of Deception at Blyth St Cuthberts

Shoddy Detective & The Art of Deception

Blyth St Cuthberts Church Hall

Saturday 9 July 2002

Before heading to the Edinburgh Fringe 5-13 August 2022


Blyth lad Mitch Donaldson wanted to bring his show to his hometown after a sell out run at Camden Fringe and, judging by the reception, I'm sure that he is glad that he did. The show is a slapstick comedy whodunnit that borrows heavily from the likes of Blackadder, Tommy Cooper and Victoria Wood. The farce had the Blyth audience laughing throughout.

Lord Raeburn (Mitch Donaldson) opens the show by welcoming everyone to his charity auction. Before the proceedings begin he wants to show off his latest art acquisition but as it is unveiled - shock and horror spreads as it has been stolen.  Fortunately bumbling detective Brian Taylor (Luke Rose) is on hand to start an investigation. He is joined by American crook Dusty WIllis (Jordan Stratton) at his bosses insistence. 

Taylor and Willis interview the various staff and guests that were present. Each one is played by Mitch Donaldson and the master of the accents Becky Bartram thanks to many quick costume changes.

This show is a physical one for the hard working cast. There are fights and tray bashing punctuating the investigation. But most of the comedy comes from the script. A lot of effort has gone into making sure that every opportunity for a pun or absurd statement has been taken. The show does stick to the narrative and the plot ends with a pleasing finish.

This cast will only get tighter as the run goes on. The show succeeded in making my family laugh and it was a good night's entertainment. It deserves to do well in Edinburgh.


Review: Stephen Oliver

Photos: Ross Day Photography

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