Therry Dramatic Society
The Arts Theatre
Until 11 Nov 2017

Review by Luke Wagner

In recent times the murder mystery genre is as popular as ever, filled with the usual suspects – an inquisitive detective and a victim who gave everyone a motive. Therry Dramatic Society’s production of “It Could Be Any One of Us” gives all of those elements, and then some.

Composer Mortimer Chalke (Roman Turkiewicz) lives in what was his family home with his painter brother Brinton (Ben Todd), writer sister Jocelyn (Gigi Jeffers), her ‘just friend’ Norris (Brad Martin) and Jocelyn’s moody teenage daughter Amy (Bonnie McAllister). When Mortimer feels that his family don’t appreciate his artistic genius, he announces to his family that as the sole beneficiary of the family fortune, he has decided to bypass his family and leave everything to his former piano student, Wendy Windwood (Miriam Keane). Things begin to go wrong when two weeks later Wendy comes to the house and becomes the victim of a series of near misses. Shortly after, Mortimer finds himself clubbed to death by his own award with three suspects in the house.

Part of the brilliance of this play is that it has three alternate endings with three different killers. Each night prior to going onstage, a name is drawn from a hat and this person is the murderer, essentially creating a different performance each night.

The execution of this show is largely a success. The pace in spots needed work but overall there was a good flow across the ensemble. Roman Turkiewicz as Mortimer was perfectly bombastic as he manipulated his family. Ben Todd as Brinton played quirky well as the younger brother. Bonnie McAllister was believable as the moody teenager, but in spots almost felt too contemporary for 1977. Miriam Keane bought some great laughs as she played songs she had written for her children to lighten the tense mood. Brad Martin delivered a great performance as bumbling amateur detective Norris Honeywell. The real treat in this show, however, was Gigi Jeffers as Jocelyn. Jeffers was consistent throughout and was a great anchor for the rest of the cast to play off.

The set for this show was stunning. The once beloved family home had some wallpaper peeling off and some scratches which really added to the overall eeriness needed for the night of the murder. The lighting by Jason Groves was a particular highlight. The brilliance of the lightning and the darkness outside really created an ambience that completely filled the Arts Theatre.

Overall, this production lived up to what one would expect from a good murder mystery. It has tension, but also well balanced humour to keep things fun. The cast were clearly having a ball as they delivered what could be one of three different shows and the audience were absolutely on board.