The Mirror Crack'd

"A classic Agatha Christie story performed exquisitely on stage"

As writers of ‘whodunnit’ style stories, Agatha Christie is probably the first name you would think of.  A new adaptation of The Mirror Crack’d by Rachel Wagstaff is nearing the end of its national tour and has been thrilling audiences up and down the country.

It would be unfair of me to discuss much of the story as I don’t want to spoil the twists and turns synonymous with Christie’s writing, however it is your classic whodunnit centring around Hollywood star Marina Gregg (Sophie Ward). The play starts in a dream sequence of Jane Marple (Susie Blake) as she dreams of meeting the Hollywood leading lady as she is visiting the village in real life to shoot her latest film.

Blake plays the infamous Miss Marple with such quality and her wealth of stage experience shines through to provide a wonderful version of the ageing sleuth who loves nothing more than solving a crime.  Chief Inspector Craddock (Oliver Boot), who is a nephew figure in Miss Marple’s life visits to run through the latest murder and of course becomes led in his questioning and investigations by Jane as she slowly unravels the story.  Boot played the sometime exasperated Chief Inspector incredibly well, with perfect facial expressions and comic timing.

We meet many interesting characters, each with their own connection to the murder (or maybe murders…….I’m not spoiling it remember!).  Jane Marple’s close friend Dolly Bantry played superbly by Veronica Roberts provided many wonderful moments on stage, including a heartfelt moment between the two that really did tug on the heart strings.  Roberts diction and projection was superb during her time on stage.

Hollywood star Marina Gregg (Sophie Ward) and her husband Jason Rudd (Joe McFadden) epitomised the glamour associated with her industry.  Ward and McFadden worked very well together with believable chemistry to portray a couple very much in love.  Now of course with any classic murder mystery story there has to be a Butler and in this case we met Giuseppe Renzo (Lorenzo Martelli), a faithful employee of Marina Gregg who stands by her side throughout her life.

Lola Brewster (Chrystine Symone), an up and coming Hollywood star, Cherry Baker (Mara Allen), Miss Marple’s hired help (I forgot to mention that Jane Marple has a sprained ankle which is explained during the story!), Ella Zielinsky (Sarah Lawrie), the Secretary to Marina Gregg, Heather Leigh (Jules Melvin), head of the local St John Ambulance and her husband Cyril Leigh (David Partridge) all have their own connections to the story as it unfolds.

The scenes are played out in flashback sequences.  There is a clever use of staging, by Adrian Linford, with a moveable “box” which doubled up as the backdrop of Miss Marple’s house and as an entry/exit point for many of the performers.  It was mirrored, as you may expect from a show called ‘The Mirror Crack’d’, however on occasion you could see an actor in the wings waiting to come on which was slightly distracting and caught my eye a couple of times.

In summary, the plot is as you would expect from an Agatha Christie story, and under the Direction of Philip Franks, the whole cast really immerse you in their world.  Of course the obligatory “who do you think did it” during the interval left me with many options which shows the cleverness of the writing as you are never quite sure, however the conclusion was a satisfactory one! 

This production was reviewed on the 15th February 2023 and runs at the Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham until the 18th February 2023. Tickets available here:


Photo credit: Ali Wright

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