Edward Taylor’s thriller is a good old-fashioned whodunit though it is set in 1992. There are twists and turns and the odd red herring to keep you guessing to the end.
Harold and writing partner Paul are complete opposites. Boozy, gambling womaniser Paul comes up with the plots. Organised, married man Harold then fills out the screenplay. They collaborate in Emma and Harold’s luxury flat by the sea. The set is terrific and includes a patio door onto a balcony with the sound of seagulls.
Jonathan Vinson is excellent as Paul. He is suitably dishevelled with stubble, loud shirts and ripped jeans. Without his presence at the beginning of the second half, contagious first night nerves got the better of the other cast members. Luckily the confidence and authority exuded on his return was similarly infectious.
The chararcter’s mental state is typified by their spontaneous outbursts. Paul bluntly refers to the TV awards ceremony. “If you can’t eat it drink it or screw it, it’s not worth anything.” Graham Miller as Harold is more self-contained, projecting his emotions onto others with judgment and dry humour. To Paul, “Try to restore a bit of blood to your alcohol stream whilst I’m away.”
Michelle Vinson is on good form as Emma. She conveys her panic and fear effectively. Most interesting to watch is how she cleverly continues to act by squirming and looking anxious when not engaged in dialogue. Not easy to do.
Neil Drew’s stereotypical, cynical, facetious Inspector Egan tries to discover if life is imitating art.