The Cat and the Canary Review

Darlington Hippodrome – until Saturday 25 September 2021


credit Paul Coltas

The Cat and the Canary finally made it to Darlington Hippodrome, after being the first show to be postponed due to Covid.

A spooky tale, with lots of shock and things to make you jump, but some funny bits too – including the nervous laughter.

On the 20th Anniversary of his death, the descendants of Cyrus West meet to finally hear the reading of his will, in his spooky and deserted house, in the middle of storm at the stroke of midnight. Add in the familial loathing of each other and an escaped lunatic and you have the basis for an excellent story, originally written by John Willard in 1922.

Britt Ekland leads the cast as Mrs Pleasant, the housekeeper, who has lived alone since the death of Mr West, save only for the company of ghosts and spirits. Crosby the Lawyer (Eric Carte) arrives to find the will had been discovered and read, despite the secrecy and measures put in place to prevent this. Slowly the family begin to gather – Harry (Gary Webster) the poor relation. Cicily (Priyasasha Kumari) and Susan (Marti Webb) arrived from India. Charlie (Ben Nealon) an actor. Paul (Anthony Costa) a bumbling vet and Annabelle (Tracy Shaw) a novelist. The beneficiary is announced, but there are caveats – in the event of sudden death or should they be declared insane, the fortune will go to the next in line.

It’s definitely a show to watch, full of twists and turns, clues and red herrings and, quite frankly, the magnificent set is worth the ticket alone. As we head towards the spookiest time of the year, this whodunnit is one to see