Review: IT COULD BE ANY ONE OF US by Butterfly Creek Theatre Troupe at Muritai School

Running 13-22 June at Muritai School.

By: Jun. 13, 2024
Review: IT COULD BE ANY ONE OF US by Butterfly Creek Theatre Troupe at Muritai School
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A great script and dependable cast make this show well worth seeing

“It Could Be Any One Of Us” is a 1983 play by British playwright Alan Ayckbourn. Premiered at Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough, this murder mystery offers a unique twist: with subtle changes, there are three possible endings, each naming a different character as the murderer. While this sounds fun, if you only see the play once, it really defeats the purpose, though would keep the cast on its toes.

The play follows the Chalke siblings, a group of three artists living in what was once a beautiful family estate and now over time, like all their artistic dreams, has eroded to a shadow of its previous grandeur. The house has been left to one of the sons, who seems to dislike the rest of his siblings living there and threatens to leave the house to a past piano student meaning that on his death, the family will be left without a place to live and without any means of income, causing the mayhem that unfolds.

As we arrived at the theatre, we were greeted with a wall showing photos of the cast members and asked to name the killer.  I thought that was a bit random, deciding on nothing more than a picture. I believe that the character that recieved the most votes was the one who ultimately is named as the killer. The audience seemed to enjoy it though!

I really liked the set, with a grand piano, chez lounge and a staircase leading offstage to another level, it was quite impressive. The set was used to great effect by director Mike McJorrow. The tension built at the beginning of Act 2 was so good. I felt a chill at some of the things that were happening and had a true jump moment that would spoil it.

The cast were quite strong, with the standout performers being David Cox as Norris Honeywell and Sandra McClean as Jocelyn Polegate. Special mention too for Laurie Ward who played the role of a very nervous, bordering on neurotic Brinton Chalke with compelling believability.

For the most part there was excellent movement from the cast, however, there were a couple of long conversations where it was too static and could have been broken with just a small movement across the stage. Dialogue was clear from all the cast-I heard every word.

Lighting (Mike McJorrow and Starlight Lighting) and sound (Laurie Ward) were both handled well, especially the lighting when the power was faltering. Just light enough to see the cast-perfect.

The script had all you wanted in a play. Believable characters, a villain, some tension and quite a lot of humour. A comedic murder mystery might be a good description.  

This was a really great evening's entertainment and I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the production. Well worth the drive out to Eastbourne to see it. It was my first Butterfly Creek show and won't be the last.  I think almost everyone would enjoy this and would recomment it. Congratulations to all involved.


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