For his third foray into theatre Peter James and his stage adaptor Shaun McKenna have found a fine balance. Transferring a complex crime story set in multiple locations to the stage is no mean feat, but this time, with a clever set and a fine cast, they really pull it off. Roy Grace is so firmly implanted in the minds of Peter James fans that it must be difficult for any producer to find the right man for the job, but in Shane Ritchie, they have found the best yet. He captures the unassuming intensity of the character well and reveals the inner anger and demons with a deft hand. Good to to see that his missing wife Sandy is referred to, an insight into why he is the man he is.
Laura Whitmore is delightful as his feisty lover Cleo and Michael Quartey delivers all the cheeky charm that one hopes to see in Glenn Branson.
Stephen Billington has perhaps the toughest time as Brian Bishop, facing a barrage of interrogation as the plot twists and turns, and how it twists and turns in true Peter Jamesian fashion, but he delivers a brilliant performance throughout. This is a thrilling thriller that had the audience on the edges of our seats, even though many of us had already read the novel.
Theatre Royal Brighton