MURDER, blackmail and three women will hold the plot together in the final play of the Huddersfield Thespians season.
The company is staging Alan Ayckbourn’s Snake in the Grass at the Lawrence Batley Theatre (LBT).
The drama will be held together by a cast of just three – Christine Davies, Julie Root and Maureen Speight who are all well-known in the Thespians’ world.
Director for the production is Lawrence Barker and he said: “With a play like this it takes a lot of hard work to make it look simple and easy.
“It’s two hours for the three actors to carry and although it is exceptionally written by Alan Ayckbourn they’ve got to be alert as emotions change all the time.
“That is Alan Ayckbourn’s classic style and it will be wonderful to see.”
Snake in the Grass tells the story of sisters Miriam and Annabel and nurse Alice.
The sisters have been estranged as Annabel has lived abroad for many years.
She returns upon the death of her father to be told by Alice that Miriam played a part in his death.
A plot of murder, intrigue and blackmail sets off with many twists and turns.
Lawrence said: “It’s Alan Ayckbourn’s first women-only play but his second single-sex play, the first being an all male cast.
“It moves through ghostly intrigue and there will be some twists the audience will see coming – and some they won’t.
“Alan Ayckbourn is one of the best and most prestigious writers for women in English theatre.
“The depth of the three characters he’s created in this plot shows his talent.”
It was originally written and performed in the round setting and the Huddersfield Thespians have taken on the challenge to explore the opportunities with lighting and sound effects on the LBT’s main stage.
Lawrence added: “It offers us the opportunity to take it on with the maximum visual impact.”
Snake in the Grass is a 2002 play by the British playwright who is an Olivier, Tony and Moliere Award winning playwright who has written 75 plays. More than half have been produced in London’s West End as well as on Broadway.
Between 1972 and 2009 he was the Artistic Director of the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough where Snake in the Grass premiered.
This will be the final Thespian production this season, but they are already looking forward to returning after the summer break.
And they will bring two new shows to town which have never been performed here before.
The first is Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple, but the Thespians will stage the female version of the play
Originally a Broadway show in the 1960s with an all-male cast, it was turned into a TV series and film with several spin-offs.
In 1985 the writer then penned a female version which was first staged at London’s Apollo Theatre in 2001.
The Thespians bring it to the LBT from October 11-15.
After that they take on Doubt which was a film starring Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman. That will be at the LBT Cellar November 22-26.
l The Huddersfield Thespians’ Snake in the Grass runs at the LBT’s main theatre from May 10 to May 14 at 7.30pm with a Saturday matinee at 2pm.
Tickets are £12 from the LBT box office on 01484 430528 or at www.thelbt.org.