DEAD HERRING ON STAGE - NEW MURDER MYSTERY PLAY FOR THE THEATRE
Back on stage
Our clients are used to our brand of quirky improvisation, role playing and characterization but did you know that we sometimes actually stick to a script?
Just recently we’ve headed back to our theatrical roots and we’re looking forward to treading the boards again and welcoming audiences to our brand new murder mystery play in 2022.
We’ll be launching a crowdfunder for our Edinburgh journey soon, so watch this space but in the meantime, follow us on social and sign up to our newsletter to keep in the loop!
In Her Defence
London, 1947. Philip Mackinder is dead. His wife, Catherine, has shot him. As a court hears the evidence leading up to the murder, we witness the disintegration of the couple’s marriage and discover the real, surprising truth.
In Her Defence is an homage to Agatha Christie – a one act play with a nod to the golden age of murder mystery with a modern twist, described by one critic as “what feels like a period piece [but is a] chillingly contemporary portrait of a veteran suffering from PTSD compounded by lasting side effects of Malaria”.
Catherine has shot Philip, but why? His blossoming and inappropriate ‘friendship’ with a work colleague? Catherine’s bitterness at her lack of children and her husband’s marital coldness? There’s no mystery. “The fatal shooting is the first thing the audience sees and the first sharp intake of breath of many that this tightly crafted piece draws from its audience.”
But is everything as it seems? You may think you are sure. You may wonder how and if she gets away with it. But will you be surprised at the truth?
Evil Will Come
In Her Defence by Helen Saxton was first performed in preview by The Compton Players under the title Evil Will Come (and the pen name Alexi Stonehouse) with the following cast:
Catherine Mackinder: Helen Saxton
Philip Mackinder: Pete Watt
Catherine Mackinder (in court): Ella Wilson
Mr Justice Wargrave: Eric Saxton
Patrick Ridgeway KC: Paul Shave
Constable Thomas Redfern: George Buckland
Mrs Lena Croft: Liz Saxton
We’ll also be performing In Her Defence with its original full cast at the Oxfordshire Drama Network Drama Festival in June 2022.
We’re looking forward to returning to the beautiful Unicorn Theatre in Abingdon.
Next step; publication and another play in the series… watch this space!
Helen Saxton (Catherine)
Helen trained as a theatre designer at Nottingham Trent University after which she designed numerous shows including for The King’s Head Theatre, Islington, The Old Fire Station, Oxford and The Theatre, Chipping Norton. She now runs Dead Herring, creating immersive mystery events for team building where she concentrates on writing scripts and true crime non fiction, and performing regularly. She and Pete have worked together for over fifteen years, during which they have collaborated on many productions including the award winning Richard III and numerous Dead Herring events. In Her Defence is her debut stage play and will be her first performance on stage at The Edinburgh Fringe.
Pete Watt (Philip)
Pete trained with the National Youth Theatre in London 1988-1990 and studied drama at King Alfred’s University College in 1992. Directing credits include Hamlet, Henry V, Jekyll and Hyde and a tour of Woyzeck at the New York International Fringe Festival, all for One and One Theatre. Acting credits include Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar for TMC, Claudius in Hamlet for One and One and Jesus in The Greatest Gift for Downland Millennium. For The Compton Players he has played numerous roles including Michael Starkwedder in Agatha Christie’s The Unexpected Guest, Randle McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Richard III in their NODA award winning production directed by Helen.
I thought the writing was really clever and subtle, a really smart plot. For me mysteries often are either a bit obvious or sometimes too clever for their own good so end up being a bit incomprehensible. This totally hit the sweet spot.
Thank you so much for Evil Will Come. You inspired this retired critic to pick up the pen again and try out this Twitter lark. Bravo, Bravo, Bravissimo.
Brilliant – such a perfect and clever story.
Awesome writing and definitely kept me guessing until almost the end…
Agatha Christie would have been proud!
Many congratulations to cast, crew, and of course writer of Evil Will Come! We really enjoyed it and didn’t predict that ending! We also all jumped out of our seats (twice – despite knowing the exact moment to prepare the second time…) so 5* for props too!!