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The Edge of Darkness - or despair?



Review by Hugh Munro

AS A child I was told: "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything."

An admonition which weighs heavy when one is faced with reviewing a play such as Brian Clemens' The Edge of Darkness, now playing at the Richmond Theatre.

Presumably, someone saw some merit in producing this fustian Victorian set and Victorian style melodrama, or they would not have inflicted it on the unsuspecting public.

The plot, which does not bear re-telling, is one of those 'is she or isn't she, did she or didn't she' type with the focus on Clare McGlinn, as Emma, the knife-obsessed daughter of Liza Goddard and Tony Scannell, known here as Mr and Mrs Cranwell, in whose house the action takes place.

Janet Walker plays Penny, the maid, and Chris Donelly, a sinister manservant, Hardy, who is not what he seems.

They are joined by John Westwood, as a policeman, and Jerry Lindop, as Livago, another suspicious character.

All that was needed was one of Mr Pollock's tuppence coloured sets and this was provided by Newpalm productions.

The actors did their best to breathe life into their characters and are not to blame for failing to bring any sense of reality to the tortuous plot.

Although I must admit my companion enjoyed it a lot, I do not feel I can comment further.

The Edge of Darkness by Brian Clemens, Directed by. Howard Ross, Scenery by Newpalm Productions, Costumes by Midland Costumes Lighting by Mark Alexander. WITH: Liza Goddard, Clare McGlinn, Tony Scannell, Janet Walker, Chris Donelly, Jerry Lindop, John Westwood. Produced by Charles Vance at Richmond Theatre, The Little Green, Richmond, Surrey. Tickets 020 8940 0088.

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