REVIEW: Dead Simple at Cambridge Arts Theatre

Jamie Lomas in Dead Simple.

Jamie Lomas in Dead Simple. - Credit: Archant

Performances until Saturday, February 21.

The stage version of Peter James’s bestselling thriller is anything but simple. It is chilling and so full of twists and turns that it has the audience gasping.

Michael Harrison (Jamie Lomas) is the man who has everything. A several times over millionaire property developer, he is about to marry his glamourous girlfriend (Tina Hobley).

He has played a few stag night tricks on his friends in the past and, as the play opens, he makes his best friend Mark promise that his will be “just a few drinks in a pub”.

Then the rot sets in. Poor Michael is buried alive in a coffin, left with just a walkie-talkie and an air tube. It’s only meant to be for a couple hours, though that would be bad enough.


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But then the friends who have interred him get killed in a car crash as they drive away. Mark (Rik Makarem) is still alive but.... well he is not exactly what he seems.

If you think this is a plot spoiler, well that’s just for starters. There are plenty more hairpin bend turns after this. Pretty much no one else played by this accomplished cast is telling the truth either. Every character is a chameleon.

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Except that is for simple Davey Wheeler, in a masterclass performance by Josh Brown. Davey lives in a world of fantasy. When he picks up the other end of Michael’s walkie talkie he thinks he is role-playing an episode of CSI. He is not able to help the man on the other end who is running out of time.

However, all good thrillers have a detective with problems of their own and all good detectives have a mate to discuss the puzzles of the plot with. Let’s hope that Detective Superintendent Roy Grace (Gray O’Brien) and Detective Sergeant Branson (Marc Small) can pick the truth out from the lies.

This is a fast-paced show packed full of surprises and a gripping night out in the theatre.

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