This week the Devonshire Park Theatre plays host to Father Brown – The Curse of the Invisible Man, a ‘spine chilling whodunit’ by John Goodrum based on the classic mysteries by GK Chesterton.
The Rumpus Theatre Company are one of the very few companies to take Chesterton’s work to stage with most of the Father Brown short stories appearing on film, television and radio, the most recent of which featuring Mark Williams as Father Brown, appeared on BBC afternoon television.
Father Brown – The Curse of the Invisible Man combines two of Chesterton’s stories, “The Invisible Man” and “The Curse of the Golden Cross” and is set in Edwardian London, 1906 and takes place in Father Brown’s (John Lyons) church, Ella Hope’s (Anna Mitcham) London studio and Diana Hope’s (Karen Henson) country house in Sussex. Diana Hope’s life’s work has been dedicated to the memory of her father and solving the mysterious puzzle of the five daggers. When her niece Ella receives an out of the blue letter from her ex-lover demanding the hand over of said dagger, the drama kicks off. When John Goodrum makes an appearance as Angus Turnbull, Ella’s new beloved, action and pace picks up.
With a slightly lengthy first act and an overly long explanation of the history of the case, the story takes a while to set up. While all the detail is without a doubt necessary, at times it dragged a little and therefore took a while to gather momentum. The end of the first act however did leave you on a cliffhanger and excited for the second act.
The music used in the production was taken from Bernard Hermann’s score for PSYCHO and, while sometimes overused and exaggerated, was definitely vital to add the to the drama and tension of the story.
While the production was not ‘edge of your seat’ drama it was gripping and compelling nonetheless and definitely required a heap of concentration! Miss one of the tiny, seemingly meaningless, details of the case and you’ll be scratching your head for the rest of the production!
An enjoyable outing, and not overly long, the Devonshire Park Theatre will house the production from Tuesday 6th October to Saturday 7th and will show every evening at 7:45 and at 2:30 on Wednesday and Saturday. Prices start from £15.50 and rise to only £21.50.
Reviewer: Ellen Warwick