Inspector Drake and the Perfekt Crime

Reviewed by Sue Ellis of the Eckington Leader

With a Warthog's head, a container of sulphuric acid, a barrage of corny jokes, double entendres and numerous visual gags, this spoof on a 'whodunit' was full of comic highlights and chaotic situations.

There is no body or motive and many fake identities; the plot is as thick as the hapless Sergeant Plod, superbly portrayed by Ron Woodward.

He calls Scotland Yard ('Do you know the code for Scotland from here?') to enlist the assistance of Inspector Drake, (Phillip Hadley, whose physical comedy was a delight to watch and whose entrance on stage has to be seen to be believed), thus creating a team of amazing incompetence whose job it is to solve the 'Perfekt Crime'.

They appear to have met their match in the coolly calculating and very cunning Dr Short, artfully played by Drew Davies, who manages to parry all Drake's attempts to find a sane resolution to the mystery.

A newcomer to the City Players, Lynette Shakespeare, gave an impressive performance as one of the two Miss Shorts, City Players regular, Pat Miatt as the other Miss Short, and another newcomer, Holly Templeton, making very debut, as Miss Short completed the cast and gave great support.

All the cast delivered a script filled with gags and innuendo and, almost, managed to keep straight faces throughout.

As always with the City Players, mention must be made of the splendid set, which cleverly split the on-stage action, and a great choice of music.

Directed with a great deal of flair by Philip Mantle, with excellent backstage assistance by other members of the society, this play had the audience in stitches.

It is to be hoped that the City Players might consider performing another of David Tristam's 'Inspector Drake' plays in the near future.

Ellis, Susan. "Perfekt crime: Played for laughts". Eckington Leader, July 2010. Print.