Stage Two Downham present “Strictly Murder”, by Brian Clemens, later this month.
Set in Provence just before World War Two, this is an intricate, interesting and enigmatic story.
A young and unmarried couple are living in a rural cottage, frequently visited by a strangely disturbing, yet seemingly simple-minded man in ragged clothing, who constantly carries a rifle.
There is little money, but they are happy enough with the wages from her work at a hotel and his paintings, mostly of poppies, sometimes sell to the tourists. Then along comes an English gentleman in a smart business suit, who “just happens to be passing” and before long, we’re onto the first murder and the mystery of this nice young man who just might turn out to be a brutal murderer who killed both his wife and their unborn child.
Almost every one of the characters is not who they first appear to be and the most interesting and fun aspect of the show is the guessing game – who are they really? What secrets are they hiding – and why?
There are clues – sometimes misleading – and several twists and turns to the plot, with the background of the impending war adding to the atmosphere, particularly when Hitler’s voice comes over the radio, as chilling now, 70 years later, as it was then.
This is a very well-crafted thriller with an experienced cast, which includes Kim Croydon, Steve Cooke, Andrea Cawley, Bob Cleeve and Jean Croft, and certainly worth seeing.
Performances take place in Downham Village Hall at 7-30 p.m. from Wednesday November 21st to Saturday the 24th. Tickets are available from Clitheroe Tourist Information Centre (now combined with the Platform Galley in Station Road) or by phoning 01200 425566 or 01200 423301