The Grand Theatre, Leeds – until 27th November 2021
Reviewed by Katie Goldsbrough
John Willards, The Cat and the Canary is a classic ‘Who done it’, a group of long-lost relatives gather on a stormy night for the reading of Mr. Wests will, 20 years after his death, they are there to discover who will inherit the manor and the family jewels. After learning who the heir is the group learn of an escaped, murderous mental patient from the local asylum, resulting in them spending the night in fear as mysterious things begin to happen and it seems there’s someone in the house who shouldn’t be there. There are plenty of surprises, twists, and turns and with an all-star cast this is one not to be missed.
The cast is made up of lots of well-known names including former Bond girl Britt Eckland as Mrs. Pleasant, the housekeeper who has been living alone for the past 20 years and is in contact with the spirits of the house, who insist an evil is lurking. Antony Costa, who found fame in the boyband Blue who gives a fantastic performance as, Paul Jones a doddering vet. Other familiar faces include Coronation Streets Tracy Shaw playing Annabelle West who must learn to conquer her fears and fend of the advances of Harry Blythe (Gary Webster The Bill, Eastenders), who wants to rekindle an old romance and Charlie Wilder (Ben Nealon Soldier, Soldier) who has similar ideas.
The lovely set is well used and at times you may find yourself jumping as the thunder rumbles and mysterious sounds begin to be heard through the manor.
The show comes to a dramatic conclusion in the final act when the pace picks up and we learn of a plot to steal the fortune which, as it unravels will leave you guessing until the end. With comedy entwined with the drama this is an excellent production with a fantastic cast and an exciting story.