Review - Not Dead Enough at the Royal & Derngate, Northampton

Laura Whitmore
Laura Whitmore
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Brian Bishop has a pretty watertight alibi to explain his whereabouts when his wife is murdered.

And so there starts the drama and with very few other suspects for the murder, it is more of a case of how rather than whodunnit in this adaptation of Peter James novel.

Bill Ward and Laura Whitmore

Bill Ward and Laura Whitmore

Not Dead Enough focuses on a killer with a rather unusual range of bedroom practices and there are some intriguing set pieces in the show. The end of the first act, complete with We Have All the Time in the World by Louis Armstrong, has a vague sense of the infamous torture scene in Reservoir Dogs.

But there is not many times when the show rises above the crime drama cliche. You have the emboldened, battle weary detective, the younger, jack the lad type and a beautiful woman who unfortunately for her, gets into trouble. Indeed the end, which I won't spoil, fits the cliche. And one you can pretty easily work out.

The material, while intriguing, sadly never develops much beyond the cliche and that combined with one or two mistakes from the cast makes for a frustrating watch at times

The acting is adequate, the story is acceptable and the set is functional. But rarely does it go beyond this for me. Not Dead Enough was sadly not good enough.

Not Dead Enough can be seen at Northampton's Royal & Derngate until Saturday May 6. For tickets, call the box office on 01604 624811 or www.royalandderngate.co.uk.