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Who Killed the Football Manager?

by on 1 July 2022

Over the Moon

Who Killed the Football Manager?

by Chris Martin

Edmundians at Cheray Hall, Whitton until 2nd July

Review by Heather Moulson

Just let me say that I was floored.  I really thought I knew who had done it!  That’s as much of the plot that I will give away. 

In a cabaret style setting, we sat round at tables with anticipation, surrounded by enticing photographs of the suspects.  My personal favourites were Trudy Goodnight and Terry Towling – especially his Kevin Keegan perm.  

This inter-active murder mystery set in 1974 in a Headmistress’ study at an ailing boarding school, began promisingly with an authentic set, including the much-missed blackboard.  Here we were introduced to Bob Slayer, played convincingly by Dave Young, as a bitter former football star; then Steve Swift, a hungry writer and Eileen Armstrong-Payne the desperate headmistress, admirably portrayed by Stephen Wink and Theresa McCulloch respectively.   There was desperation all round with these three characters and plenty of motives.

This scenario was played out with a tinge of farce and witty dialogue. More characters arrived, namely Mary McGrath’s  Daisy Chain, the enthusiastic PE teacher, and Matthew A. Dorr, an unhappy pupil.  This role was played by Arthur Holmes, whom we had the pleasure of seeing in The Red Lion recently, a promising young newcomer.  However, the whole cast were promising as they got into the spirit and gusto of this production. 

Mrs Patricia O. Dorr, played by Zofia Sochanik,  joined the cast as Matthew’s very pushy mother, plus my aforesaid favourites, Trudy Goodnight played by Monica Kingsland and Terry Towling portrayed by Marc Batten, all armed with strong motives and a story to tell.  Well, I’m not going to say who was actually bumped off, but a dead body came up at the end of the first act, giving us a decent interval to enjoy fish and chips from Niki’s Fish Bar, and to fill in the table’s worksheet. 

Act Two gave us the joys of Detective Inspector Spence and hapless Deputy Inspector Watkins.  Becky Halden as Spence looked sleek with ‘his’ long blonde wig, and a patient rapport with her sidekick, Kayleigh Easterbrook’s Watkins.  This act was the most vital as we really gained insight into these suspects as their stories and grudges unravelled.  I also felt the actors really came out of themselves at that point.  Plus the whole production had running football gags throughout, giving it a clever touch.  My own favourite was “Who would pay a million pounds for a footballer?”!  I would have rolled around laughing at that in ’74.

The next interval gave us choc ices which really added to the jolly atmosphere.  It made me think of a past glory cinema trip.  Becky Halden had the strong task of finally revealing the murderer, which she handled splendidly.  As I pointed out, I was completely wrong with my accusations, giving this unveiling a sharper edge. 

The spirit and hard work put into this production was admirable, and really held together by director Paula Young, dressed beautifully in seventies gear, who also came up trumps with Front of House management, both hard tasks.  This was aided by the Edmundian’s secretary, Angela Turner, who also did a superb job.  Lighting and sound by Paul ‘Wiz’ Baker and Dave Young was up to speed and well done.   

Playing for two more nights, get yourselves down there if you can, and see if you can deduce the murderer better than I could! 

Heather Moulson, June 2022

Photography by Pixel Panda

One Comment
  1. celiabard permalink

    Attended the same production as reviewer and wholeheartedly agree with her comments.

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