Gaylife Magazine | Manchester

Review: The Cat and the Canary, Opera House

Twenty years after the death of Mr. West, his descendants gather at a remote mansion to learn who will inherit his vast wealth and the hidden family jewels.

When the heir is revealed, the heritage hunters turn into prey and a chain of macabre events is set in motion; walls crack open, shadows loom and dark secrets are revealed. Will the heirs dare to face the haunting presence toying with them?

A new adaptation of the murderous mystery, which inspired three classic movies starring the likes of Bob Hope, Honor Blackman and Olivia Hussey.

On the surface of things you might be forgiven to think that The Cat and The Canary is just another story of a family get together to discuss a long awaited inheritance, but you would be wrong. Building on the Phenomenal decade long success of the Agatha Christie Theatre Company, This is the fifth production by the classic theatre company, and it has Thrills in abundance! On the 20th anniversary since the death of Mr West five members of his family gather at his remote mansion for the long awaited unveiling of his will.

Starring the legendary former Bond Girl Britt Ekland who’s performance as the house keeper brings a sense of gravitas to the production. Making each arriving guest aware that something is amiss and there is a presence of evil in the air, guaranteed to have you on the edge of your seat. 

The start of this play has the classically familiar feeling of the meeting of relatives at a remote country house but as the story unfolds the motives of each guest become apparent.  As each of the prospective Heirs to the fortune arrive you start to became aware that is a country house thriller with some serious depth!

With performance from West End legend Marti Webb and Soap Veteran Tracy Shaw as the beautiful heroine of the production coming together to make you sit on the edge of you seat and become part of the performance as if you are on the stage. After the unmasking of the heir to vast Fortune and family jewels of the late Mr West are releveled things really start to take a spooky turn giving some scenes a slight air of pantomime but never the else adding to the psychological tension of the heroine thinking she is going mad, or are the other guests up to something with screams and gun shots before the truth is reviled. However just when you think the story has wrapped up one final scene throws everything into doubt! 

Ending on a cliff hanging scream that leaves you wanting more this is the perfect Theatre experience for anybody wishing for a different spooky experience this Halloween.

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