Jordan Holdsworth

LUDS presents: The Real Inspector Hound

If you read the title of this article thinking ‘gosh, are they reviewing a whodunnit again?‘ then yes, you’re partially right (and certainly not left, might I add). LUDS’ first major show of the season – The Real Inspector Hound – can only be described as a mystifying and captivating rendition of your typical ‘hidden killer’ narrative.

The official poster for The Real Inspector Hound, courtesy of Liverpool University Drama Society

Without giving too much away, the premise of the plot circulates around two critics’ scrutiny of a staged play, only to find themselves more involved in it than they realise! The plot has a range of twists and turns and, to quote Director Sean Daley, includes shots, kisses and on stage inflated egos: everything you could want from a modern day adaptation.

On opening night, just before the curtains opened, I was approached by a stern looking critic, looking for her seat and asking for my opinion on the ‘dry’ ambience in the room. Moon (played by our very own deputy editor, Greta Sion) was impressively authentic, managing to withstand her improvisational act whilst the audience were taking to their seats. She, much like the rest of us, eventually found her place as the show began. Moon was soon joined by Birdboot (played by Hugh Sutton) – a wonderfully pompous character with a lot to answer for! Hugh’s acting was warm and playful. The pair of critics combined had the perfect balance of humour and charm.

Mrs Drudge (played by Honey Hammer) was one of the first characters on stage, providing the audience with a galore of giggles. My personal favourite moments were both the slapstick pouring of tea in the ‘second act’, and the play on words: “…know your weather” “whether what?”. Honey’s portrayal of the old lady with all the evidence was not only wonderful to watch, but had me thinking she was the culprit all along (you’ll have to go and see the show to find out if I was wrong!)

Image courtesy of Hayden Raynor

The bitchy love triangle between Simon Gascoyne, Cynthia Muldoon and Felicity Cunningham (played by George Goodman, Rea Hughes and Lydia Mackean, respectively) really played into the hands of the storyline – the three had great on-stage chemistry and it was hilarious to see the glances and sass exchanged between both female characters, much to Simon’s discomfort.

Alice Watkins’ portrayal of the actual Inspector Hound was a sight to behold. Pretty much every other line had me in stitches and she certainly heightened the level of entertainment I received from the entire performance. Plus, who can forget the jocular use of a live actor playing the dead corpse under a sheet on stage for a whole hour and a half? Kiran Khan, as the corpse, was INCREDIBLY CONVINCING – even if I did see a hand movement or two. Was that intentional? I hope so!

Image courtesy of Hayden Raynor

A huge final congratulations has to go to Sean Daley for not only directing, but stepping in as Magnus Muldoon, as well as his team of assistant directors (Tor Smith and Alaa Jasim,) and the Guild tech team, for making the whole performance truly memorable and one of my favourites to date. We would also like to take the time to wish Nathalie Haley all the best, after sadly falling ill at the very last minute.

“There is more to it than that…”

Tickets along with the Facebook event are both available here

Featured Image courtesy of Hayden Raynor

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