Applause review: Murder in the Studio, Maskers Studio Theatre, Southampton

Applause review: Murder in the Studio, Maskers Studio Theatre, Southampton

By Martin Brisland.

And now for something completely different!

The Maskers, founded in 1968, have performed many types of drama from traditional to modern, from comic to tragic but surely simulating a radio play is a first? It worked brilliantly and provided a most enjoyable evening of entertainment.

Reading from scripts into vintage microphones and augmented with two people creating the realistic sound effects, this was a real treat. You could close your eyes and let yourself be immersed in the unfolding plotlines as if you were listening to a play on the radio.

Murder in the Studio by Agatha Christie is a series of short plays (Personal Call, Yellow Iris and Butter in a Lordly Dish) first written for BBC radio. There were the typical Agatha Christie themes of murder, revenge, suspicion, intrigue and twists.

A seventeen strong cast, some playing multiple roles, were all excellent performing with energy and enthusiasm. Memorable performances came from Matthew Meehan, Duncan Randall, Tash Priddle, Katy de Haviland, and Rob Illife – as a convincing Inspector Poirot.

And, a special mention for some blood curdling screams.

Yet perhaps the unsung star of the evening are the live ‘Foley’ sound effects, named after Jack Foley who pioneered background sounds such as doors being opened or shut. His basic methods from the 1920s are still used today.

If you haven’t been to the Maskers before give yourself a treat. They are an amateur company with high professional standards. Their small studio theatre, just off Shirley High Street, is a real hidden gem.

Murder in the Studio is at the Maskers Studio Theatre until Saturday 25 May. For tickets, visit: or call 0333 666 3366.

Interested in what goes on off stage at a play?

Maskers have an open house drop in session on the first Saturday of each month from 10am – 1pm, with the next one on Saturday 1 June. You can learn a little about the technical, costume and marketing department.

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