Review: Mad Cow Productions – Murder on the Nile

Gin fizz, the crackle of a gun, a grisly murder and a number of possible culprits – all the ingredients of a classic Agatha Christie whodunit!

The Queen of Crime’s murder mystery – Murder on the Nile – has been brought to life at Shrewsbury’s Theatre Severn by Shropshire-based amateur theatre group Mad Cow Productions, leaving audiences teetering on the edge of their seats.

This version had all the hallmarks of a Mad Cow production – first class acting with incredible attention to detail in the staging including costumes, music and set.

Alex Hinton and Lisa Lowarch have masterminded this latest production staged in the Walker Theatre – and it is their penultimate show as they will be retiring next year.

Director Alex and choreographer Lisa founded the hugely successful Mad Cow Productions amateur theatre group a decade and a half ago – and now Murder on the Nile has wrapped they will be gearing up to take their final bow with a spectacular production of Kipp’s New Half a Sixpence Musical next year.

Their shows have brought theatre audiences to their feet year after year and given budding thespians – young and old, experienced or not – from across the county and Mid Wales the chance to live their dream up on the stage.

And of course, this Agatha Christie murder mystery was certainly no different. Simply ‘Am Dram’ at its very best!

The scene is set on a boat travelling down the Nile and Kay Ridgeway – a woman blessed with incredible wealth and beauty – is embarking on a honeymoon voyage with her new husband; but the idyllic surroundings are soon shattered by a shocking murder and the ensuing detective work as it all unravels to find out just whodunit.

This is a quality production superbly brought to life by a talented and committed cast headed by Robert Hinton as the sleuthing Canon Ambrose Pennefather alongside Heidi Brown as Christina Grant, Becky Stafford as Kay, Donatella Butt as Louise and Milly Corbett as Jacqueline de Severac. Barbara Vesty was also rather fabulous as the super snob Helen Ffoliot-ffoulkes.

Brilliantly cast and wonderfully executed – this production slowly built up the suspense and before finally unmasking the culprit.

Alex, who has directed all of Mad Cow’s productions, said Murder on the Nile was the group’s penultimate show before retiring.

She said: “There is one more musical to be performed next year – don’t miss it – and then the Cows are out to pasture!”

Mad Cow Productions final show will be Kipp’s New Half a Sixpence Musical which will be staged at Theatre Severn in May 2020.

Review by Claire Dunn

Shropshire Live
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