Following on from five hit stage shows and the new acclaimed ITV series, GRACE, the work of best selling author, Peter James returns to Milton Keynes Theatre! The world premiere stage adaption of WISH YOU WERE DEAD. An all star cast includes George Rainsford, who returns to the stage after eight years as Ethan Hardy in BBC One’s Casualty, Clive Mantle, much loved for many roles including Casualty, Game of Thrones and the iconic ‘puddle’ scene in Vicar of Dibley and the multi talented actress, novelist, podcaster and winner of ‘I’m A Celebrity’, Giovanna Fletcher.
When Detective Superintendent Roy Grace and Cleo Morey take their first holiday together, they hope for a few days away from their dark worlds of murder and the mortuary. But their dream escape turns out to be the holiday from hell.
Adapted exclusively for the stage, Wish You Were Dead is the latest thrilling instalment of the Grace Series – the most successful modern day crime stage franchise, since Agatha Christie
Not so much a whodunnit as a willtheydoit, Peter James’ latest crime thriller to tour the country promises action, humour, suspense and all encased in a great set. We certainly got most of that during the first act, but as with many crime stories including those by Ms Christie, there’s such a lot of plot to set that most of the humour and a lot of suspense had to wait until act two. But it comes thick and fast in act two with the entrance of Clive Mantle playing a villain with more than one nod towards Clive’s real life friend Ray Winstone who he starred with in Robin of Sherwood. I loved Clive’s portrayal of the evil Curtis and the humour hit home every time without detracting in any way from his scary character.
George Rainsford did a good job as Inspector Grace – a character I always feel is written surrounded by fascinating people but who has no real charisma of his own! Difficult for an actor I imagine to hear his car being driven off down the drive when he still has four lines to deliver in an upstairs bedroom before rushing off on foot to chase the car which by then would almost be in the next village!
all in all, a great night’s entertainment barring the slight flaws scriptwise and one or two dodgy sound effects – baby cries and guns onstage being fired and sound coming from somewhere in the wings!
if your a fan of crime novels you’ll love it, if not you’ll enjoy it anyway – if only to see Consultant Mike Barrett from Casualty playing a villain!
Wish You Were Dead is at Milton Keynes Theatre until Saturday 29th April.
Box Office: 0844 871 7615 or online: ATGTICKETS.COM/MILTONKEYNES