Wanted, One Body!

by Raymond Dyer

18th – 20th October 1984

Old Mr Barraclough is dead, leaving a vast fortune to be split between his stepdaughters and his staff; however his body has been stolen. Both step daughters have died in mysterious circumstances, everyone has a reason for wanting them dead due to their habit of bribery and blackmail, but who did it? The aggressive chauffeur? The victimised secretary? The dippy maid? The insane undertaker? Or the deaf and blind Doctor? It’s a ripping good yarn full of sliding panels and trap doors with half the cast immersed in the thriller and the other half running riot.

wanted body prog

The Cast

Miss Barraclough: Elizabeth Saxton
Mabel Middy: Jackie Heitzman
Anne Beale: Enid Farr
Ted Johnson: Dave Hawkins
Mr Blundell: Peter Monger
Mr Mickleby: Charles East
Agnes: Valerie Carlill
Doctor Brown: Nick Roberts
Mr Sorrell: Rob Bell

Produced by Mary Warrington

Newbury Weekly News Review

Ingredients to chill and thrill

Compton Players’ production of Wanted- One Body! had all the ingredients to chill and thrill – a creepy set, a plot with plenty of twists and turns, and a generous selection of highly suspicious characters. These, topped with a liberal helping of lightning flashes and thunder, all mixed to give a highly entertaining evening.

Wanted – One Body! by Raymond Dyer is a lightweight ‘whodunnit’ but it has a plot good enough to keep everyone guessing who is responsible for all the dastardly deed; could it have been Miss Barraclough (played in fine sinister style by Elizabeth Saxton), or was it secretary Anne Beale (elegantly played by Enid Farr)? It surely wasn’t old Agnes (Valerie Carlill) or young Mabel (Jackie Heitzman). But what about Ted Johnson (a nice cameo by Dave Hawkins); he was a bit of a lad. I certainly wouldn’t want to meet Mr Sorrell (played in funereal style by Rob Bell) down a dark alley. Finally, surely no-one could suspect old Dr Brown (Nick Roberts)… could they?

The tangled web of intrigue and murder is eventually unwoven by Solicitors Blundell and Mickleby (Peter Monger and Charles East). These two actors worked well together, and provided a good deal of the comedy. My only small criticism is that the delivery of some of the lines was not as slick as this type of play demands. However the overall effect was satisfying, and a feeling of teamwork and fun came across to the audience. The technical back-up was good, with an effective set, and well co-ordinated effects.

I have had great pleasure attending amateur productions over the past few months, and as I left Compton last Friday I had the feeling that amateur theatre is really alive and well. The capacity audience certainly enjoyed themselves enormously, and that is, after all what it’s all about.