Jacq of all Trades, Master of Writing
The Woman, the body, the gun, the Unexpected Guest
Gold Coast Little Theatre presents The Unexpected Guest
Famed author, Agatha Christie has a knack for crafting the unexpected. As the queen of murder mysteries, Christie delivers the unexpected in The Unexpected Guest. The scene opens with a dead body, shot through the head at close range. So, who dunnit? Was it the dead man's wife caught red-handed with a gun in her hand? How inconvenient for an unexpected guest (Michael Starkwedder, played by Jimmy Odenbreit) to walk in at the precise time of the crime. He's hardly a guest when he calls in uninvited, but welcome nonetheless when he offers to cover up the crime after the beautiful Laura (played by Marja-Liisa Rintala) confesses to murdering her husband.
Yes, it's a little slow to start, with a barrage of dialogue and not much action to accompany it, but things start to get interesting as the play's characters are introduced and red herrings are tossed to and fro.
Each character brings their own flavour to the piece which helps to spice things up. Secrets are revealed, lovers exposed, news of imminent death is disclosed, blackmail is threatened, loyalty shattered, a political campaign is disrupted, a heart is broken, and the sweet innocence of a young boy turns violent. Prepare yourself for gunshots and more than one dead body.
A wonderful performance was given by Mitchell Walsh who played the intellectually disabled Jan Warwick – a very talented young man. There was a scene between him and Miss Bennett, played brilliantly by Lisa Shah, that is a show stopper. It certainly picked up the energy levels of the play. Fine performances were given by all cast members, and Director, Andrew Trump did a marvellous job with his modernised version that kept an old play fresh.