Tads Theatre Group “Inspector Drake and the Black Widow” , April 2009.

Directed and Produced by David Sachon.

What a delightfully silly play!  David Sachon had obviously worked hard to achieve very different characters from his cast, which gave the play a well-rounded finish, lifting this from a rather banal piece to one that gave us all a good laugh and very good performances.

The static set was very different for Tads, which worked very well for this particular play – I loved the cupboard that the Inspector emerged from at the beginning, which set the scene for the feel of the play, and the use of the settee as both the barrier behind which the corpse was hidden and the entrance to the tunnel was inspired, and worked incredibly well.  The lighting was effective and the sound effects very good, they created another dimension to the action and were very slick, I particularly liked the French door - very amusing!!  Joe Butcher gave Inspector Drake a very believable edge.  Joe has twinkly eyes and a mobile face, which lends itself well to this rather dry sort of character which needs bringing to life.  He was always interesting, never boring, and was a good foil to Kevin Birkett’s Sergeant Plod - also a nicely rounded character - giving the parts the expression needed to keep the interest of the audience.  It was so nice to see Janet Bray in some very enjoyable roles – using her for all the female parts meant that she could use her talent by creating seven very different characters, all of which worked very well.  There were different accents, most notable of which was Amy Mallard’s, while the Triplet Zoe was great fun.

All in all a most enjoyable evening – the care that had gone into creating the characters and the thought into creating extremely funny moments, meant that the audience were always entertained and their interest engaged.

Nova Horley

NODA Representative