I have recently completed reading the entire Agatha Christie collection (Not in one go, I may add) and even though Miss Marple is my least favourite protagonist of The Queen of Crime, I went happily along to see The Mirror Cracked. Of course, having read the book, I already knew whodunnit, but that did not spoil things.

Miss Marple is drawn into the murder of a village local when the intended target is thought to be Hollywood actor, Marina Gregg who has recently arrived in the area. A few character changes and minor differences, but the plot largely remained the same as in the novel, one of Christie’s more acclaimed.

The Mirror Cracked — New Alexander Theatre — 17 February 2023

With a simple but effective revolving set, many scenes involved flashbacks which take place while Marple (played superbly by Susie Blake) discussed and pondered with all involved. The way these were handled allowed the plot to move seamlessly from one scene to another and worked well, never letting the production drop. Centre of many of these was Chief Inspector Craddock in whom Oliver Boot really shone, making Craddock the comic foil for most parts. And humour was present in other areas to lift and add another dimension to a script which could easily have fallen stale.

Also on top billing was Sophie Ward as movie star Marina Gregg with Joe McFadden as husband Jason and both delivered the top performances you would expect. Supporting well, though, were Mara Allen (Cherry Baker), Sarah Lawrie (Ella Zielinsky), Lorenzo Martelli (Giuseppe), Jules Melvin (Heather Leigh), David Partridge (Cyril Leigh), Veronica Roberts (Dolly Bantry) Chrystine Symone (Lola Brewster) and Holly Smith (Party Guest/Assistant Director/Policewoman). Production for The Mirror Cracked was in the hands of Tammy Rose while direction was by Phillip Franks. This adaptation was from Rachel Wagstaff with results of the highest quality.

The Mirror Cracked — New Alexander Theatre — 17 February 2023

So, even though I knew the outcome, it was still enjoyable watching events unfold. The only criticism I would have was the absence of microphones. The New Alexander Theatre is a large venue and even though I was on row F of the stalls, I struggled at times, so heaven knows how those at the back of the Rear Circle fared. I know it’s traditional, but this is 2023; the technology is there — use it.

As with all Christie stories, it is near impossible to name the murderer until the end but so well is it crafted, you realise the clues were always there. A good evening out for an enjoyable touch of murder and intrigue.

The Mirror Cracked — New Alexander Theatre — 17 February 2023


Antony N Britt