Snake in the Grass
Reviewed by Sue Ellis of the Eckington Leader
As the curtains open on the City Players latest production a visual treat unfolds as the unkempt grounds of the family home, together with dilapidated tennis court and summer house, are brought into view.
Older sister, Annabel, (Pat Miatt) has returned from living abroad for many years on the death of her father. Expecting to meet her sister, Miriam (Carole Wilkinson), she is puzzled to be met by her father's ex nurse, Alice (Canan Cahit) who gives her the news that it was Miriam who killed him and she has a letter to prove it. Demanding £100,000 to keep quiet she gives Annabel a day to think it over.
Annabel and Miriam are haunted by their pasts; both sisters remember the cruel and domineering behaviour of their father; Annabel does not dare to step inside the tennis court and Miriam is seemingly crushed by a lifetime of being at home. As they argue about what to Annabel reveals she has no money, has heart trouble and been abused by her ex- husband. When Alice returns she accepts a glass of poisoned wine from Miriam – after which she ends up down the well under the summer house.
Seeking to recover the blackmail letter the tables are turned between Annabel and Miriam and the plays twists and turns continue along with the sound of tennis balls slamming into the court netting, wind chimes tinkling and the rocking chair rocking of its own accord – a totally unexpected arrival causes another death.
With the barbed wit of the sisters this is a psychological horror laced with humour; all the requisite ingredients are included but it is increasingly obvious that the ghosts are whatever it is that scares us most.
This three-hander gives the City Players leading ladies a chance to shine in this ghostly thriller with its darkly comic undertones. This production is certainly a night to remember.
Ellis, Susan. "Snake in the Grass". Eckington Leader, July 2012. Print.