REVIEW: Shane Richie and Laura Whitmore shine in Not Dead Enough at The Bristol Hippodrome

PUBLISHED: 09:36 28 February 2017 | UPDATED: 09:49 28 February 2017

Not Dead Enough

Not Dead Enough

Archant

Peter James’ tale of deception, murder and loss was brought to life on stage last night (Monday) as Not Dead Enough made its debut at The Bristol Hippodrome.

Shane Richie stars in Not Dead Enough.Shane Richie stars in Not Dead Enough.

The play follows the story of Detective Sergeant Roy Grace who is hunting a serial killer in Brighton, while also trying to move on after his wife mysteriously disappeared 10 years ago – but could the two be connected?

This production has a host of twists and turns throughout and what I really liked about it was it kept me guessing.

It was a murder mystery play but its characters had extra complexity to them which made it easy to be invested in the outcome.

Shane Richie may be best known for his portrayal of Alfie Moon in popular soap Eastenders but he took on the role of the struggling but intelligent detective with ease and produced a clean performance.

Peter James, Laura Whitmore, Shane RichiePeter James, Laura Whitmore, Shane Richie

There was an element of humour to the role and part of his cheeky chappy nature did creep in - but it worked.

Laura Whitmore - best known for her presenting skills rather than her acting ability - was also competent on stage as Cleo Morey, who works in the morgue and has a relationship with Roy, and she really shone in the second half where her emotions were pushed to the limit.

I will not say any more so as not to give much of the plot away.

However, the real star of the show was Stephen Billington.

He took on the role of Brian Bishop - who is accused of these heinous crimes. He definitely had the most challenging role, with a host of different personalities to portray, as well as a range of emotions.

Once again, it is hard to explain without a number of spoilers, but he managed to make me feel sorry for him and make my skin crawl all in the space of a couple of hours and those strong feelings are surely the biggest compliment an actor can receive.

All in all it was a strong ensemble performance, with each of the roles, either as members of the police, morgue workers or suspects – they all played their part.

The set was split into two scenes - the police station and the morgue. The contrast worked really well and changing between the two was never an issue nor distracting.

The way eery music was used also added to the atmosphere and there were a number of moments when I was genuinely on the edge of my seat.

I would certainly recommend this production if you want to enjoy a story which gets you thinking but also does not evoke too much fright.

It may be a murder mystery but the ending is not a disappointment and there are some strong individual acting performances which make the whole performance that little bit stronger.

Not Dead Enough is at the Hippodrome from tonight (Tuesday) until Saturday, with performances at 7.30pm each night and 2.30pm on Wednesday and Saturday,

Tickets, priced £20.40-39.40, are available via the Hippodrome website.

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