Peter Stockman, Fiona Gwinnett and Kevin Wilson. Picture by Peter Boam.
SHANKLIN Theatre played host to a tale of murder mystery, with plenty of comedy thrown in.
Inspector Drake and the Black Widow, by Two’s Company, had the audience in fits of laughter while trying to guess whodunnit.
All the action takes place in the drawing room of a country house, owned by the Devonshire family.
What is impressive is the two-hour show, set in the Twenties, only features three actors throughout — Kevin Wilson, Fiona Gwinnett and Peter Stockman — who were faultless in their performances.
The show focuses around the hapless but hilarious Sergeant Plod (Peter Stockman), Inspector Drake (Kevin Wilson) and the maid (Fiona Gwinnett).
Fiona, who has starred in countless roles with various Island groups, deserves huge praise for her fantastic performances as several characters, with different accents and costume changes.
As events roll out, Sergeant Plod relates them all through a series of flashbacks and claims to know how it all ends, as characters are killed off and the elusive missing black widow spider stays missing.
His audience interaction is clever and the comedy link-up with Inspector Drake is brilliant.
The stage, lighting and sound effects added an extra bit of quality to the show, which can sometimes be lacking at other venues.
Shanklin Theatre is a wonderful venue — the efforts of the friends to return the theatre to its glory days has certainly paid off.
Inspector Drake and the Black Widow continues at the theatre every Tuesday until the end of this month.