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Vienna Theatre Company Sleuth

By • Nov 1st, 2009 • Category: Reviews
Sleuth by Anthony Shaffer
Vienna Theatre Company
Vienna Community Center, Vienna, VA
Through November 7th
$10/$9 Student/Seniors
2:00 with one intermission
Reviewed October 24th, 2009

Sleuth is a mystery in two acts by Anthony Shaffer. It takes place in an English country home in the present day. Andrew Wyke is a mystery writer who likes to play games (at other people’s expense). The game and reality get a little blurry as he weaves his web of mystery on unsuspecting Milo. But who is playing whom?

This play had some twists to it that were unexpected. There were times when the Queen’s English was a little hard to grasp which made the rhythm of the show a bit hard to understand. But overall the pacing was smooth. Two of the characters worth mentioning were the mystery writer Andrew Wyke played by Peter Harrold and his “friend” Milo Tindle, played by Stephen Earl Whitney.

As Wyke, Harrold was both sinister and playful. During his dialoge with Milo he relished the sparring that occurred between the two of them. Milo did not, but it seemed to energize Harrold. There were times especially in act two when he was almost giddy when talking with Milo about death and murder.

Milo in contrast was not always as amused. Whitney came across as much more serious and seemed to take Harrold’s giddiness as bordering on lunacy. It is interesting to note, however, that in the second act the roles were almost reversed. Whitney had some line troubles, but it did not affect the over all pacing of the show. Whitney became much more at ease with his lines and his behavior became laid bck in the Second act. But that does not mean the tables were turned in the second act.

The set was simple and there was plenty of room on the stage to move around. The dark furniture added a formal feeling to the room. Set dressing was done by Chrish Kresge and Norma Robertson. The set was designed by John Vasko.

Sleuth ran two hours with one fifteen minute intermission. It is playing through Saturday November 7. Friday and Saturdays at 8 PM and a matinee on November 1 at 2 PM at the Vienna Community Center in Vienna, Virginia. This play was performed well and with efficiency. It has some plot points that can not be revealed here, but must be experienced in person.

Director’s Note

Sleuth is a parody of the classic English detective novel and the formula murder mystery. It is Sherlock Holmes meets Agatha Christie – but with a difference. It is a “who-what-done-it” because we really are not sure what “it” is in some instances. Sleuth seems to mirror detective stories: the suggestion of an English country house setting and the play’s characterization of Andrew Wyke – a successful and quirky mystery writer in the classic style who surrounds himself with games. Andrew even has a Hercule Poirot quality about him at times. But, all games must have a winner and a loser, and the same is true in Sleuth where the game can become dark and complex. The only questions are: what is the games and which of the players is going to win in the end?

Eddie Schwartz, October 2009

Cast

  • Andrew Wyke: Peter Harrold
  • Milo Tindle: Stephen Earl Whitney
  • Inspector Doppler: John Matthews
  • Detective Sergeant Tarrant: Ken Perkowski
  • Constable Higgs: Nicholas Sorenson

Crew

  • Director: Eddie Schwartz
  • Producer: Chrish Kresge
  • Stage Manager: Claudia Van Norstrand
  • Set Design: John Vasko
  • Lighting Design: Eddie Schwartz
  • Sound Design/Operator: Jon Roberts
  • Costume Design: Suzanne Maloney
  • Makeup Design: Amber Dyer
  • Assistant Stage Manager: Clare Kiley
  • Master Carpenter: John Vasko
  • Master Electrician: Tom Epps
  • Set Dressing: Chris Kresge, Norma Robertson
  • Light Board Operators: Tom Epps, Michael Schwandt, Suzanne Maloney
  • Properties Asst./Backstage: Norma Robertson, Nadia Sorenson
  • Program: Tom Epps

Disclaimer: Vienna Theatre Company provided two complimentary media tickets to ShowBizRadio for this review. VTC also purchased an advertising banner on the ShowBizRadio web site.

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started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.

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