Rehearsal for Murder ~ Malvern Theatres


Suspense, intrigue, twists, turns and a cast of talented actors among whom there is no weak link. What more can one ask of a new thriller which is currently touring the UK?

Written by the writers of Murder She Wrote, Richard Levinson and William Link (adapted for stage by David Rogers), directed by Ray Marsden, Rehearsal for Murder has a set that drew me in from the beginning and it inspired the ultimate experience for me as an audience member, I almost forgot that I was in the theatre! Instead, I felt like I was watching an all-consuming whodunit on television. This, I attribute to the polished, slick performances and exceptionally engaging writing.

Robert Daws plays Alex Dennison, a playwright who is setting up his own murder investigation exactly one year to the day after the opening night of his west end play. Moreover, it’s the anniversary of his fiancée, Monica Welles’s death, she was the star of his play and a well known movie star. Welles is played by actress, Amy Robbins and she brings glamour, heart and realism to the role. Dennison is the lynchpin of the piece and it can’t be an easy feat to effectively ‘carry’ the play with a tremendous amount of dialogue to go with it, however this challenge is one that Daws embraces and succeeds in. He gives an outstanding performance, backed up by the tenacious Susan Penhaligon as Producer, Bella Lamb, who provides a great deal of humour. Also, Steven Pinder who brings a delightfully edgy quality to the part of Lloyd Andrews, the Director together with brash leading man, David Matthews who is portrayed to marvellous effect by Robert Duncan, one feels there’s somewhat of a ‘tongue in cheek’ nuance utilised.

As the story swaps between scenes from 1989 (the present day that the play is set in) and 1988, the tale comes together like a well crafted jigsaw. The set encompasses the action, beautifully, while the audience are led well and truly up the garden path to draw the wrong conclusion! Or are we? With a bereft playwright playing detective, in the company of an anxious Director, jealous understudy and cock-sure leading man, the finger could point anywhere!

If you like a gripping whodunit, this is the production for you, and it will be in Malvern until Saturday 30 January – tickets are available here: or via box office number 01684 892277. Alternatively, Rehearsal For Murder will continue to tour around the UK afterwards, and you can find all dates and information here:

Don’t Miss It!



Spotlight On… Susan Penhaligon

April’s Spotlight On……

***Susan Penhaligon***


Hi Susan, you’re currently touring with Agatha Christie play ‘And Then There Were None’, how’s the tour going and tell us about your character, Emily Brent.
Emily Brent is a religious spinster who obviously has a past she doesn’t wish to talk about! It’s a cameo character role which I like playing.  It’s great to reach my age and I can leave the younger me behind, where I’m offered these kind of roles, a part where I can put a wig on and become unrecognisable. For me, this is what acting is all about.
Are you an Agatha Christie ‘fan’ and what do you think of this story in particular?
I am an Agatha Christie fan and I think ‘And Then There Were None’ Is is one of her best plays.
Have you a favourite theatre on the tour, and what’s the reason for your choice?
The Theatre Royal Bath is my favourite theatre.  It’s like playing to a big armchair which the audience is sitting in.
So, you’re a boat dweller, what triggered your love of boat dwelling?
I love the water, and it’s a great way to live in a large city like London, it’s the countryside in the city.
You’ve enjoyed a successful career on stage and screen, to date, but which medium do you prefer and why?
You have to be able to do all the mediums, stage, screen, TV, radio, it’s the only way to survive in the industry. I don’t have a favourite, I’m just lucky to be still working.
Is there a character that you have a burning ambition to play?
I like new writing, new plays, so any character within my age range would be my hope for the future. Having said that, Gertrude in Hamlet, any Chekov play, I love Chekov. Oh and of course, a part in Poldark 2.
If you hadn’t have embarked upon an acting career, which job could you see yourself doing?
I think I would have been a writer, or a journalist.
Favourite Things (quick fire questions):
Favourite poem?
I love Dylan Thomas, any of them.
Favourite playwright?
There are so many playwrights I admire, I can’t choose one, I’m sorry.
Favourite area of Cornwall?
My favourite part of Cornwall is the West Penwith area, St Ives to Lands End, the winding road that goes past Zennor to St Just. In the winter its magical, it’s brooding, old Cornwall, full of myths of Giants and Piskies and crumbling tin mine shafts with the ghosts of the ‘knockers’. My soul belongs in Kernow.
Favourite tipple?
Vodka and Slimline. Every time.
Favourite way of spending a Sunday?
Sunday lunch with my son cooked by me, a lounge on the deck of my boat in the sun, watching the river traffic pass by, my dog beside me, until the amazing sunset happens over West London, then watch a movie. Perfect.
Tour information for ‘And Then There Were None’ together with booking details, can be found by following the link below.

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