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Murder In The Dark - Royal Theatre, Northampton

Murder In The Dark comes to The Royal Theatre in Northampton this week. It’s The Royal’s re-opening after the RAAC cement issues at Royal and Derngate. Currently there is also some restoration work being carried out on this beautiful 1884 theatre so you cannot get to The Royal via the Derngate on Swan Street. You need to enter via the old side doors.

I already feel like something uneasy is going to happen and the curtains haven’t lifted yet. It’s nearly Halloween and there is a chill in the air. Watching Murder In The Dark in the autumn months definitely gives the play atmosphere. Full disclosure, I am a scaredy cat. Although as a teenager I couldn’t get enough of scaring myself, these days I quite often jump at a 12 rated film. I must have been feeling brave to see this. What can I tell you that won’t give the game away? Hmm… not much.

Directed by Philip Franks (who I recently saw in Rocky Horror as the Narrator), this is a spine-chilling ghost story, turned psychological thriller starring TV and stage favourites Tom Chambers and Susie Blake. But what happens when the lights go out?

It’s New Year’s Eve, when a car crash on a deserted road brings famous but troubled singer Danny Sierra and his dysfunctional family to an isolated holiday cottage in rural England. And when I say rural, I mean it. No WIFI. Not even a landline phone in sight. No WIFI? That’s a nightmare to begin with!

From the moment they arrive, a sequence of inexplicable events begin to occur… and then the lights go out. As the tension rises and deeply buried secrets come to light, you’ll find nothing is quite as it seems.

Susie Blake gives an exceptional performance as Mrs Blakeman. She is sweet and kind and helpful and maybe quite innocent living in a rural village. I am not sure she even knows what WIFI is. However, there is also something not quite right. Something that feels a bit sinister. A truly exceptional performance from Susie. Mrs Blakeman’s conversation with Tom Chambers who plays Danny is something along the same lines I would say to Tom if I met him. You’re very good looking… for your age. If I was a few years younger… Did I mention that Susie is funny too?

Tom playing Danny held our attention all the way through. He had a great range of emotions and portrayed them so we are with him on his journey. Danny was in Dance Party Five when he was young. Dance Party Five was hugely successful, think One Direction or Take That. But that time has come to an end and now Danny is a has-been. Danny struggles with alcohol and relationships. Underneath it all he is lonely, despite having Sarah as his 22-year-old companion. Tom is fantastic in the role and delivers a mesmerising performance.

Murder in The Dar will have you on the edge of your seats until the final chilling twist. Are you brave enough to uncover the truth?

Book your tickets and join us for a theatrical experience like no other.

Murder in The Dark is at The Royal Theatre, Northampton until 21 October 2023


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