Tag Archives: Morgan Large

Review of Deathtrap – 4 Stars



Mercury Theatre, Colchester

Reviewed – 31st October 2017



“design is initially majestic and also cleverly subtle, leaving plenty of discoveries around the set”


Watching Deathtrap put me in mind of when I read ‘Gone Girl’, and was frankly a bit bored with the opening action then became pleasantly surprised when it turned out that actually my initial boredom was sort of the whole point. In another likeness to that recent novel blockbuster, I find it is difficult to write a thorough review of this Ira Levin play without including a few substantial spoilers. Let us just say that there are a more plot turns and character spins than you can shake a spine-tingling stick at throughout two roughly 60 minute acts of middle American domestic disturbia. I left with the over all feel of having seen a middle aged, live action take on the kind of brash teen horrors typical of the late nineties, filled with cheap but effective scares and frequent whips of humour to keep things moving along. This probably speaks more of my own age and cinematic preferences than the classic noir periods of Hollywood and Broadway frequently referenced throughout Deathtrap, which will have a greater impact on genre fans of that type.

Familiar faces of Albert Square Paul Bradley and Jessie Wallace take the top billing as the married couple at the centre of events. Jessie Wallace gives a solid performance of the disquieted wife to Bradley’s wonderfully sarcastic but volatile failing playwright Sydney Bruhl. Beverley Klein puts in a show stealing OTT turn as crazed Scandanavian pyschic Helga, though I have to call Sam Phillips as the standout performance of this production. His portrayal of Clifford Anderson is spot on, but is again difficult to comment on too thoroughly without over divulging the plot information. Phillips also manages to maintain a convincing and consistent American accent where some other cast members frequently fall short. Julien Ball in the smaller but still pivotal roll of Porter Milgrim ties the ensemble together neatly.

Production design (costume and set by Morgan Large) is initially majestic and also cleverly subtle, leaving plenty of discoveries around the set of Bruhl’s murder-prop adorned writing room for audience members with a wandering eye. Use of old suspense films clips (video design by Duncan McLean) gives a refreshing edge to the scene changes and points should be awarded for minimal but well placed sound (Ben and Max Ringham) and lighting (James Whiteside) effects.

Overall, director Adam Penford has dished up a bit of fun in this entertaining, if ever so slightly hammy play by the suspense powerhouse Ira Levin, whose work is heavily endorsed by chiller master Stephen King among many, many others. King fans might also appreciate the inward looking trick of creepy writers writing about creepy writers. Worth a visit either at the Mercury Theatre in Colchester until 4th November then heading to Birmingham and Richmond.


Reviewed by Jenna Barton

Photography by  James Beedham




is at the Mercury Theatre, Colchester until 4th November then continues its UK Tour



Click here to see a list of the latest reviews on thespyinthestalls.com

Son of a Preacher Man today announces that X-factor finalist Diana Vickers will create the role of Kat for the 2017 tour of this heart-warming new musical. Featuring the soulful music of Dusty Springfield, with a book by Warner Brown and directed and choreographed by Craig Revel Horwood, Son of a Preacher Man embarks on a national tour starting at Bromley’s Churchill Theatre from Monday 4 September 2017.

Three broken hearts, one Soho hang-out, and the only man who could ever help them… Welcome to the Preacher Man, the swinging 1960s Soho joint where the kids danced the night away to the latest crazes and dared to dream of love, while the legendary owner, the Preacher Man himself, dispensed advice to cure the loneliest of hearts.

Only, that was a long time ago and all that remains are the memories, the stories and the myths. Until now, that is, when three random strangers, generations apart but all in need of help with their hopeless love lives, are inexplicably drawn to the site of the original venue. The Preacher Man is long gone, but his son, with help from the wonderful Cappuccino Sisters, might just find it in himself to channel the spirit of the Preacher Man and once more give these three lovesick strangers the look of love.

Featuring the greatest hits of Dusty Springfield, including “The Look Of Love”, “I Only Want To Be With You”, “Spooky” and of course, the classic “Son Of A Preacher Man”, this sparklingly funny and sweetly touching new musical by internationally renowned writer Warner Brown will have you laughing, crying and singing your heart out to some of the greatest songs ever written.

Diana Vickers first came to public attention as a semi-finalist on the X Factor and has made her professional acting debut in the title role of The Rise and Fall of Little Voice in 2009 (West End, Vaudeville Theatre). Since then her theatre credits have included The Duck House (West End, Vaudeville Theatre), Hatched ‘n’ Dispatched (Park Theatre), The Rocky Horror Show (UK Tour). Her film and television credits include The Perfect Wave, Awaiting, To Dream, Give Out Girls and Top Coppers.

Warner Brown works internationally and is well known for his work in musical theatre and straight plays, encompassing both traditional and avant-garde forms. He wrote ‘the most popular family show of all time’, the arena production Walking With Dinosaurs, creating an entirely new genre of theatrical presentation and winning many international awards.

Craig Revel Horwood is a well-known face on television in the UK and now internationally for his role as a judge on all fifteen series of BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing and for directing and appearing as a judge in the Live Tour. Craig’s recent credits as director and choreographer include the current UK tour of Sister Act, the previous UK tours Brother Love Travelling Salvation Show and Chess; for television, How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? and Just the Two of Us; and for film, the feature film Paddington 2. In addition, he recently directed the all-star concert version of Stephen Sondheim’s Follies at the Royal Albert Hall.


Son of a Preacher Man

Book – Warner Brown
Director & Choreographer – Craig Revel Horwood
Set & Costume Designer – Morgan Large
Musical Supervisor & Arrangements – Paul Herbert
Lighting Designer – Richard G Jones
Sound Designer – Richard Brooker
Associate Director & Choreographer – David James Hulston
Casting Director – Anne Vosser

Son of a Preacher Man is produced by Brian Berg, John Sachs, Andrew Berg & Kimberley Sachs for Eclipse Live, Michael Park for The Infinite Group, Paul Tyrer & Jamie Clark for TBO Productions, Churchill Theatre Bromley and executive producers Andrew Green and Ben White, all on behalf of
Dusty Touring Ltd.





Churchill Theatre, Bromley
4 September – 9 September 2017
Website: www.atgtickets.com
Box Office: 020 3285 6000

New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham
12 September – 16 September 2017
Website: www.atgtickets.com
Box Office: 0844 871 3011

Sunderland Empire Theatre, Sunderland
19 – 23 September 2017
Website: www.atgtickets.com

Palace Theatre, Manchester
26 September – 30 September 2017
Website: www.atgtickets.com
Box Office: 0844 871 3019

Grand Opera House, York
3 October – 7 October 2017
Website: www.atgtickets.com
Box Office: 0844 871 3024

Regent Theatre, Stoke
10 October – 14 October 2017
Website: www.atgtickets.com
Box Office: 0844 871 7649

Festival Theatre, Edinburgh
17 – 21 October 2017
Website: http://www.edtheatres.com/festival
Box Office: 0131 529 6000

New Theatre, Oxford
24 October – 28 October 2017
Website: www.atgtickets.com
Box Office: 0844 871 3020

Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells
31 October – 4 November 2017
Website: https://www.assemblyhalltheatre.co.uk/
Box Office: 0189 253 0613

Hull New Theatre, Hull
7 November – 11 November 2017
Website: http://www.hcandl.co.uk/hullnewtheatre
Box Office: 148 230 0300

New Wimbledon Theatre, Wimbledon
14 November – 18 November 2017
Website: www.atgtickets.com
Box Office: 0844 871 7646

Belfast Grand Opera House, Belfast
21 November – 25 November 2017
Website: https://www.goh.co.uk/
Box Office: 028 9024 1919

Wycombe Swan, High Wycombe
28 November – 2 December 2017
Website: https://wycombeswan.co.uk/Online/
Box Office: 149 451 2000

Cliffs Pavilion, Southend
16-20 January 2018
Website: southendtheatres.org.uk
Box Office: 01702 351135

Theatre Royal, Nottingham
29 January – 3 February 2018
Website: trch.co.uk
Box Office: 0115 989 5555

Belgrade Theatre, Coventry
13-17 February 2018
Website: belgrade.co.uk
Box Office: 024 7655 3055

Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury
6-10 March 2018
Website: atgtickets.com/aylesbury
Box Office: 0844 871 7607

Grand Theatre, Blackpool
20-24 March 2018
Website: blackpoolgrand.co.uk
Box Office: 01253 290190

Princess Theatre, Torquay
10-14 April 2018
Website: atgtickets.com/torquay
Box Office: 0844 871 3023

Theatre Royal, Brighton
17-21 April 2018
Website: atgtickets.com/brighton
Box Office 0844 871 7650

New Victoria Theatre, Woking
24-28 April 2018
Website: atgtickets.com/woking
Box office 0844 871 7645

King’s Theatre, Glasgow
8-12 May 2018
Website: atgtickets.com/glasgow
Box Office 0844 871 7648

His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen
19-22 June 2018
01224 641122

Liverpool Empire
3-7 July 2018
Website: atgtickets.com/Liverpool
Box Office: 0844 871 3017


Further 2018 dates and casting to be announced