Churchill Theatre, Bromley
Written by Peter James
Adapted by Shaun McKenna
Directed by Jonathan O'Boyle
|Adam Woodyatt and Laurie Brett
Looking Good Dead offers a cocktail of irresistible elements that make for fine modern theatre. A story from Peter James’ Detective Superintendent Roy Grace series and acted by stage stars and EastEnders icons Adam Woodyatt and Laurie Brett all contribute to a gripping tale.
The play starts with a young female sex worker, found dead with her throat slashed. As the plot evolves, Shaun McKenna's adaptation of James’ novel takes the audience on a gripping, moving tale that as well as encompassing the thrill of a murder mystery, also explores complex family emotions of love, secrets and deceit, against a stomach-churning backdrop of violent pornography and abuse.
Woodyatt’s take on protagonist Tom Bryce reveals the darkness of human beings. His is an innocent man, a good citizen and a loving father who has worked hard to provide for the family. The play’s plot is surprising, plumbing unexpected emotional depths as the first act outlines family conflicts that contribute to the plot’s unfolding after the interval. Secrets maybe the shadows of the soul but justice ultimately prevails. James tells us that everyone has their dark side, no one is innocent and that no good deed goes unpunished. But there is also the message that through the darkness there is light and hope.
Not just a thriller, director Jonathan O’Boyle extracts some well-played comic moments too, that all combine in an evening of cracking entertainment.
Runs until 23rd April, then continues on tour