‘Partners in Crime’ is a comic adaptation of the Agatha Christie book ‘The Secret Adversary’ adapted by Sarah Punshon and Johann Hari.
In 1919 London, The Great War is over and jobs are scarce, Tommy and Prudence “Tuppence” meet and agree to start their own business as The Young Adventurers. Soon they are hired to assist in the search of the mysterious Jane Fish and thrown into more danger than ever before.
Partners in Crime is a quintessentially British play, with the clever use of props, slapstick comedy, magic and music throughout. It is definitely a good night out if you’re looking for a laugh. It’s not a musical but there is singing and music sprinkled throughout and use of music in a silent movie style during fight scenes.
‘Partners in Crime’ marks the début of quite a few actors/actresses at The Queen’s Theatre and this includes the two main characters Tommy (Richard Holt) and Tuppence (Naomi Sheldon) who give a fantastic performance with perfect comic timing, keeping us laughing. But there was also a real connection between the audience and characters, meaning that when our two heroes were in trouble you felt for them and were eager for them to escape.
Sir James (Nigel Lister) plays the parts of the announcer, keeping us up to date with what is happening in the plot, something that I found necessary at the beginning of the second act.
The set consists of a huge ring that circles the stage and 3 doors, one centre door and two on either side. The two outer doors are slanted, giving the appearance that the stage is a long corridor, while giving a clear view for all the audience. Many simple props are used throughout the show including a taxi and simple but ingenious use of cardboard cutouts to create a shadow show, but my favourite was a massive keyhole used during a spy scene.
It was a lot of fun, bringing up the idea of British courage and comedy. In these times of turmoil caused by many things, including Brexit, we all need some good old fashioned British laughter.