If you like a script which slowly builds, keeps you on the edge of your seat, and value-adds the tension with plot twist after plot twist, you will love this play.
Who is Stone? An apparently mild man, brilliantly played by Paul Careless, whose personality evolves through the play, and whose voice morphs from wimpish to well modulated menace?
What is he playing at, as he weaves his webs of deceit, luring the Detective Superintendant, played by Rob Harvey) to his apartment with tales of a drug dealing son, then luring the playwright (Dee), played by Phillipa Dwyer with the story (which we know to be fiction) of a sick wife.
It's not too much of a spoiler to say that "The Business of Murder" is about revenge, and as plot twist is piled on plot twist, we wait on tenterhooks to see whether the shrewd bully of a policeman will outwit the conniving cunning of Stone.
The acting in this production is uniformly excellent. Rob Harvey (a native Londoner) captures to perfection the arrogant bullying policeman, happy to bend the rules to get his man or exploit his woman. Phillipa Dwer is totally convincing as the playwright who is overwhelmed by finding herself in the middle of a very threatening scenario. Paul Careless's Stone manages seamlessly the transitions from an apparently helpless wimp to a psychotic manipulative calculating monster.
The Nash Theatre are very good at choosing plays which fit their tiny stage – often feeling like village theatre at its best. They make clever use of lighting to create a small room on stage where shadow play creates action.
Nash Theatre are to be commended on one more excellent production.
Written by Richard Harris Directed by Sharon White
New Farm Nash Theatre
Merthyr Road Uniting Church,