Tag Archives: James Seabright


The Falcon’s Malteser

The Vaults

The Falcons Malteser

The Falcon’s Malteser

The Vaults

Reviewed – 19th July 2019



“wonderful fun for both young and old”


The Falcon’s Malteser is the first book in The Diamond Brothers comic detective series by Anthony Horowitz. Directed by Lee Lyford, Feargus Woods Dunlop’s stage adaption of The Falcon’s Malteser revitalises the 1986 novel and brings Horowitz’s quick wit and clever storytelling to a new generation of fans.

Timothy Simple (Matt Jopling) is an ex-policeman who has rebranded himself as Tim Diamond, the world’s greatest private detective. Unfortunately, Tim is not the brightest sleuth meaning much of the detective work is done by his kid-brother Nick (Sian Eleanor Green). Together, they form the Diamond Brothers Detective Agency though business hasn’t been doing too great.

That is until the three-foot Mexican Johnny Naples drops off a mysterious package at Tim’s office and the Diamond Brothers find themselves at the centre of the international criminal world. When the package’s contents are revealed to be a box of Maltesers owned by evil mastermind Henry von Falkenberg, Tim and Nick must decipher the tasty treat’s significance before London’s crime boss The Fat Man (Samantha Sutherland) and German hitman Himmell (Fergus Leathem) close in.

The acting was strong from all with Leathem and Sutherland doing incredible performances as multiple characters. Hiccups such as Sutherland missing a porthole when throwing a wig were handled with humour and played into the parodic and self-referential nature of Horowitz’s series.

The set (Carl Davies) was cleverly designed and allowed for smooth transitions between the different settings. The backdrop consisted of four doors and a window that also doubled as multiple shop fronts. Three of the doors could be flipped as to either form part of the grey wall or act as doorways. The door furthest to the left had a circular panel that could be removed through which characters could pop up and in one scene used to hang a disco ball.

The play’s chase sequences involved particularly impressive staging. In the first, Leathem as Himmell enacted an entire car chase with headlamps strapped to his knees while holding a steering wheel and riding a swivel chair. In the second, Sutherland as the dancer Lauren Bacardi and Green made great use of the set’s numerous doors and chase sequence tropes.

The lighting (Jack Weir) transformed the stage in an instance. A green hue gave the impression of a dingy basement while disco lights instantly conjured a lively club atmosphere. During Nick’s monologues, the stage would go black and Green put under a spotlight. This was an excellent way of keeping the audience engaged with the play’s necessary exposition despite the action on stage.

The music (James Nicholson) was wonderfully atmospheric. Soft jazz reminiscent of film noir detective movies played throughout the performance including as a flank for Nick’s narration. An upbeat remix of a self-checkout machine’s stock phrases such as ‘there is an unexpected item in the bagging area’ was also a particularly creative backing track to a high street chase sequence.

There were also several musical numbers for which Jopling provided guitar accompaniment. Leathem and Sutherland were standout here, first performing a duet as the Diamond brothers’ parents and then Leathem, as Tim’s old boss Inspector Snape, rapping about all the villains in his life to the beat of Rapper’s Delight by The Sugarhill Gang. The final song was a solo by Jopling who played the guitar in handcuffs which meant he had to comically climb into his guitar strap rather than put it over his head.

This adaption of The Falcon’s Malteser is wonderful fun for both young and old and its quick-paced and witty script is sure to have the audience both laughing and gripped.


Reviewed by Flora Doble

Photography by Geraint Lewis


The Falcon’s Malteser

The Vaults until 25th August


Last ten shows reviewed at this venue:
Check In/Check Out | ★★★ | March 2019
Donal The Numb | ★★★★ | March 2019
Essex Girl | ★★★★ | March 2019
Feed | ★★★★ | March 2019
How Eva Von Schnippisch Won WWII | ★★★★ | March 2019
The Talented Mr Ripley | ★★★★ | March 2019
Vulvarine | ★★★★★ | March 2019
Bare: A Pop Opera | ★★★ | June 2019
Black Is The Color Of My Voice | ★★★★ | June 2019
Me and my Whale | ★★★ | June 2019


Click here to see more of our latest reviews on thespyinthestalls.com


Dad’s Army Radio Hour – 3.5 stars


Dad’s Army Radio Hour

Live at Zedel

Reviewed – 4th January 2018


“The impersonations are utterly uncanny”


Dad’s Army Radio Hour begins with a cod-BBC radio announcement, introducing the first episode of the evening. This sets the tone for the evening; David Benson  (Boris World King) and Jack Lane perform three radio adaptations of classic Dad’s Army scripts. As radio plays, the performance itself is a stripped-back affair, featuring no props or set pieces, and relying purely on the script and impersonations to engage the audience.

The impersonations are utterly uncanny. Lane in particular, already well known for the critically acclaimed Wisdom of a Fool, not only nails the voices, but observes the facial characteristics of the original characters with stunning accuracy. His imitation of Arthur Lowe’s Captain Mainwaring perfectly captures the toadlike double chin and swirling-eyed incredulity, and in the next instant transforms into the blithering Jones. Unfortunately, while Lane’s switching between distinctive characters is faultless, some of Benson’s sections, in which he voices multiple similar-sounding characters, can become muddled.

The episodic sitcom presentation of the show is handled perfectly. While other theatrical performances make use of lighting effects and set changes to establish scene changes, Dad’s Army Radio Hour achieves this purely through audio; by moving toward and further from the microphone, Lane (in particular) creates the effect of fading in and fading from a scene. However skilful, it sometimes feels as though Dad’s Army Radio Hour’s obedience to the conventions of radio plays is a hindrance rather than a help. More than one episode relies on visuals and slapstick, which naturally do not translate brilliantly to a purely vocal performance. These moments in particular feel like missed opportunities for laughs, where otherwise the audience reacts to jokes mostly with appreciative chuckles rather than uproar.

Benson and Lane are tight performers and have no intention of going off-script. This is a shame, because during one ad-libbed line-flub, the pair reveal themselves to be charismatic performers rather than persuasive facsimiles – and get the biggest laugh of the evening. At no point does Dad’s Army Radio Hour intentionally go beyond its self-appointed remit. While a skilful and charming production in its own right, this is Dad’s Army for purists at all costs; it’s an affectionate and accurate recreation of a fifty year-old sitcom with nothing added and very little taken away.


Reviewed by Matthew Wild


Live link

Dad’s Army Radio Hour

Live at Zedel until 21st January



Click here to see more of our latest reviews on thespyinthestalls.com