REVIEW: Murder In The Dark at The Alexandra

Described as a 'spine-chilling ghost story, turned psychological thriller', Murder In The Dark brings a strong cast - and an equally strong story - to the Alexandra this week.


First thing's first - in a move akin to that of The Mousetrap, a plea sits on the first page of the programme. It asks you not to spoil the show for anyone else who may be coming to watch, which makes the task of writing about it evermore difficult.

This production is PACKED with spoilers, which dramatically change your understanding of the story. 

As the night went on, you could hear audible gasps from the audience when they figured out a secret. There was whispering between friends and families in the auditorium putting forward their theories and, for the first time in a long time, we were presented with a show where you really didn't see the HUGE plot twist coming.

It's also pertinent to say that, whilst this show definitely has moments of surprise and shock, it's also an incredibly funny piece. Much of its humour is derived from circumstance, but it's the cast who have a pedigree to carry those laughs off well.

Murder In The Dark comes from the mind of acclaimed writer, Torben Betts and is produced by the award-winning team behind The Mirror Crack’d which toured the UK to rave reviews recently. It's a simple piece with a fairly static set and a small cast, but one which commands the stage in a manner so many of its contemporaries never seem to master - a feat which is even more significant considering the play only premiered just over two months ago.

The story follows Danny (Chambers) who crashes his car on a deserted road on New Years Eve, following his mothers funeral. He and his dysfunctional family end up in an isolated holiday cottage in rural England and, from the moment they arrive, a sequence of inexplicable events begin to occur.

Chambers is brilliant as the troubled, failed pop-star, whose story anchors so much of the play's action. A central hub for the other characters to radiate from, his work on stage, in particular alongside Mrs Batemen (Susie Blake) is slick and beautifully choreographed. Blake continues to prove herself to be one of our finest character actresses, bringing an effortless brilliance to her turn. She delivers some great dialogue with apparent ease and looks in her element in a role that is so brilliantly written.

The genius of this piece is the inability to know what to make of the action on stage - particularly after the interval. There are absolutely moments of clarity where you're let in on a secret and you convince yourself you've got all the information - however within seconds, another avenue opens and another spoiler becomes apparent that throws you off completely.

So many similar shows are starting to show their age and a number of contemporary equivalents just haven't hit the mark. Murder In The Dark tables everything you want from a piece like this, and whilst it maybe lacks some of the charm of an Agatha Christie story, what it does have is a huge amount of potential.

It's still early days and you can't help but feel that, when this show hits its stride, it could so easily become a long-running phenomenon that we're still talking about in years to come.

Murder In The Dark plays at The Alexandra until Saturday 11th November. For more information, or to get your tickets, head online to

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