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Sway Drama Club performed the interactive murder mystery, The Great British Bump Off, written by Lesley Gunn.

BLOOD-splattered programmes set the scene when Sway Drama Club put on a terrific interactive murder mystery, The Great British Bump Off, written by Lesley Gunn.

David Hughes was the bumbling fête committee chairman, Major Gordon Watt, who announces that this year’s cake judge would be the illustrious chef, Eduardo D’Angelo, admirably played by Larry Robinson.

Newcomer Peter Cutler was self-aggrandiser Philip Stanton who runs the business Bakes & Buns (and keeps reminding the audience of this), although all the work is done by his wife Hilary, a superb cook, played by Sara Woodley.

The Great British Bump off by Sway Drama Club
The Great British Bump off by Sway Drama Club

Michelle Turner was extremely realistic as the thoroughly unpleasant, nosy Patricia, always denigrating everyone and spreading malicious rumours about their cakes. She is quite disgusted that she has been replaced as the judge, having carried out that duty over many years. It also transpires that she knows Eduardo from the past when he was just plain Eddie Angel from Essex.

Lisa Siuda was great fun as Caroline, a madly besotted fan who swoons when she meets Eduardo. She also loyally supports her hippy friend, Sarah, played by first-timer Sam Blay, whose husband was lost in Borneo and who, Pat hints, puts strange substances in her cakes.

Emma Launchbury in her acting debut was Sophie and Lydia Clough was Maisie who were eliminated from the first round of the competition with Maisie beautifully displaying her dismay. They do come on later as singers and policemen.

Finally, Chris Murray was the detective Sam Nelson who has to try to resolve, with the help of the audience, the who, why and how of the murder.

There were various intervals during the evening when the audience had the chance to question the cast and identify the victim and the murderer while being served a delicious ploughman’s and tea and cake with each team submitting their ideas before the solution was revealed. My team got the how but not the who or why!

This fast-moving play was directed with his usual skill by John Petroff with the assistance of talented backstage lighting crews – and some delicious looking cakes which had been baked by Peter Cutler (aka Philip Stanton), the chef at Sway Place.

Alison Smith

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