The comedy thriller Deathtrap is being performed at the ADC Theatre, in Cambridge, from November 12-16.
It's Cambridge, 1978. Sidney Bruhl, an English lecturer and struggling playwright, has writer's block. That is until he reads Deathtrap, a tour-de-force murder mystery laden with plot twists, psychological horror and emotional intensity. It's just a shame that an undergraduate wrote the masterpiece - but what if there was a way Sidney could make it his own?
Arguably, Ira Levin's greatest play, Deathtrap still holds the record for the longest-running comedy-thriller on Broadway, consistently staggering audiences for decades.
Speaking to the director, Connor Rowlett, about what he believes is behind this success, he said: "Deathtrap doesn't take itself too seriously. Much of the comedy comes out of the play poking fun at the very idea of thrillers, while fully conscious that it is one itself, and never to the extent of parody - the comedic and suspenseful elements are maintained wonderfully throughout each act."
Rowlett is particularly excited about adapting the production from its original setting in Connecticut to a Cambridge college.
"Setting it in Cambridge has added another dynamic rather than changed anything per se," he said.
"I think the main thing is that everything will feel unnervingly, gloriously close to home for the members of the audience, especially those affiliated with the university. The main change is actually linguistic - I've had to reflect this in references to American places, and various American turns of phrase, but there's nothing drastic that I've had to rethink; perhaps this is because I always felt the play, oddly, had a somewhat British feel."
Asked how he has been tackling the many twists and turns of the script, he added: "The initial read-through was really eye-opening: seeing the cast react to the plot twists in the script - they had been instructed to not read the script before. We have talked about how in various scenes we will incorporate improvised elements to keep the actors, and audience, guessing. Hopefully we will be able to produce a slightly different and fresh show every night."
Tickets are priced from £9-£15 and available from the website at: www.adctheatre.com.