by Janet Allen

Mrs Hodgson Joy Newbold
Miriam Franklin Iva Barr
Richard Drury Don Edwards
Molly Burke Ann Goodwin
Alex Kirby Peter Farley
Det. Superintendent Slade Russ Hemming

Producer Myrtle Newbury
Prompt Mary trussler
Stage Management Hugo Newbury
  John Folkes
  Bill Newbold
Properties Bill Newbold
Lighting Ridley Billingham
  Bruce Edwards
Front of House Charl;es Spencer
Costume Marjorie Stoneham

Return to Productions page

15th - 17th November 1979
Extract from The Bedfordshire Times by Jim Kelly

Good West End theatre is here!

Wesley Players

OOH! I hope they've got him," says one of the characters in the Wesley Players' production of The Man Outside, a murder thriller, and it is a tribute to an exciting evening that most of the audience must have hoped so too.

To someone who has sat with increasing boredom through Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap, Janet Allen's three-act mystery was a reminder that you don't have to visit the West End to find good theatre.

Most thrillers of this kind suffer from over-elaboration of plot, but Janet Allen has hit upon a central theme which was quite gripping.

A wealthy author is murdered at his lonely seaside home. His wife is suspect number one, as she shows little grief and is seen to practice her replies to police examination even before the body is found.

To draw attention away from the house she invents The Man Outside, a suspicious character who has, she says, haunted the area before the crime.

What she does not realize is that The Man Outside exists, and was a witness to her attempt to throw a gold knife, the murder weapon, into the sea.

The plot, as they say, thickens. A shady past comes to life with the appearance of an illegitimate son who begins to see The Man Outside after the dust

has settled from the murder.

And then, in splendid theatre tradition, the plot takes two final twists. The son was the Man Outside all the time, and after tricking mother into a confession within earshot of Inspector Slade, he reveals that he is not the son but a foster brother returning with the news of the real son's suicide!

Peter Farley was the menacingly confident prodigal 'son', and gave a notably professional performance. Ann Goodwin played the secretary of the dead author, and dealt with a difficult role with gusto. The rest of the cast were credible as well as creditable.

Jim Kelly

Return to Productions page
Copyright © The Wesley Players 2009-