11-16 October 2021
The Brighton born, best selling author Peter James, has another of the Roy Grace books adapted for stage, with Looking Good Dead, playing at The Theatre Royal Brighton this week. If the opening night was anything to go by; if you want tickets for this gripping show you will need to be quick. The audience was gripped and in the interval words could be heard describing the performance as tense, nail biting and immersing. It wasn’t a standing ovation but it was an excellent portrayal of the complicated detective story.
The story was focused around the main character of Tom Bryce, excellently played by Adam Woodyatt, but the one thing this play lacked for me was the thread of the sub story in the books of Detective Inspector Roy Grace’s character which seemed very secondary to the story. Harry Long depicted him as quite a wooden character with no personality or personal history or interest and I can’t work out whether that was a deliberate act or an omission as Leon Stewart nailed Glenn Branson’s character as Roy Grace’s detective sergeant superbly.
However, even if Roy Grace himself wasn’t the star of this show, the play is true to the book and contains all the twists and turns you expect from one of the best crime authors of this era. The interaction between the cast members is great with Gaynor Faye playing Tom’s wife and Max’s ( Luke Ward-Wilkinson) mother. And I refuse to give anything away about the story other than to say the small set struggled a bit with having the space to adapt to the main scene of the Bryce’s lounge and kitchen and the crime scene, with the back curtain being disturbed several times during the performance.
The sound and timing of the play was excellent which added to the atmosphere and the touring group were totally professional and polished throughout. If you are a fan of Peter James, Adam Woodyatt or Faye Gaynor you will enjoy this edge of your set production playing 11-16 October at Theatre Royal Brighton, you won’t be disappointed as they watch…they choose….they kill.
Reviewer: Julie Warwick