Review: The Late Edwina Black, by William Dinner and William Morum, Suffolk Summer Theatres, St Edmunds Hall, Southwold, until Saturday September 6

Kate Middleton and Peter Hoggart in The Late Edwina Black by William Dinner & William Morum, staged

Kate Middleton and Peter Hoggart in The Late Edwina Black by William Dinner & William Morum, staged by Suffolk Summer Theatre - Credit: Archant

Convincing performances and good direction bring this run-of-the-mill “who dunnit” to life.

Edwina Black’s death looks as if it would release the lovers - her husband, Gregory, and her companion, Elizabeth - to live happily ever after.

But sudden uncertainty over the cause of death casts a dark shadow over their plans and brings both of them, together with straight-talking, no nonsense maidservant Ellen, under suspicion.

Richard Frost directs four actors who not only inhabit the characters but work so well together to build the tensions.

Peter Hoggart, as Gregory, and Kate Middleton, as Elizabeth, are splendid as the couple whose romance bears the strain of a police investigation into Edwina’s death.

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Michael Shaw gives a totally assured performance as Inspector Martin, an officer whose whimsical comments on his domestic life hide a razor-sharp analytical mind.

Eliza McClelland sparkles as Ellen, bringing all round strength to a cast which is extremely well drilled. Timing is excellent and a good pace is maintained throughout.

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The drama is enhanced by a well-designed set by Maurice Rubens and costumes by Miri Birch.

This is not a great play, and the dénouement is rather weak, but this is a worthy production to bring the curtain down on another successful repertory season at Southwold and Aldeburgh.

David Green

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