Review: STRICTLY MURDER at Hampton Theatre Company

The production runs through March 24th.

By: Mar. 16, 2024
Review: STRICTLY MURDER at Hampton Theatre Company
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The Hampton Theatre Company (HTC) does it again with a great production of Brian Clemens' Strictly Murder. This is one of the last shows created by the prolific British playwright and -  in true to HTC form - thrills the audience with a title that seems to be not often done. The gripping play is excellently directed by Mary Powers and runs through March 24th at the adorable Quogue Community Hall in Quogue on the east end of Long Island.

The suspenseful tale, set in 1939, follows Peter and Suzy, portrayed by Dayne Rasmussen and Ashley Underwood, a British couple living in Provence, France trying to escape the war. Their lives are upended when Suzy discovers Peter is not who she thinks he is. Indeed, plot twists abound in this story. 

Ms. Underwood and Mr. Rasmussen, both in their HTC debuts, are excellent in their respective roles. Also in the extraordinary ensemble cast is Scott Hofer charmingly providing the comic relief as Josef. Fan favorite and east end regular Matthew Conlon is also a highlight as Ross in a gripping performance. Catherine Maloney, another brilliant HTC vet, portrays Miriam Miller, an investigator. Indeed, the entire company is thrilling and moves the show effortlessly.

On Ms. Powers' clever creative team, Meg Sexton's set is well done. The tale takes place entirely in the cottage Suzy and Peter share. A large couch and furnishings make up the living room, a table and cabinet are a dining area to the side, and an island and counters and sink make up the kitchen upstage. This is elevated by Sebastian Paczynski's atmospheric lighting making for a visually stunning production.

And so, Brian Clemens' Strickly Murder is indeed another hit heading into the home stretch of Hampton Theatre Company's current (39th!) season. They end their exciting season in May with Stephen Sondheim's A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum which is so exciting and a spectacular way to end the season. An excellent cast and gripping story make for a moving night of theatre.

Photo by Dane Dupuis