Oh, those British accents are so genteel. Their sensibilities so proper. Everything comfy and in its place, even with a demanding matron of the house incessantly calling for attention.
Then things take a rather dark turn -- and quite quickly, too, in Weathervane Community Playhouse's production of "Night Must Fall," a psychological mystery-thriller that first opened in 1935. The play has featured such notables as Robert Montgomery and Rosalind Russell to Albert Finney in the 1960s and Matthew Broderick on Broadway in 1999. Eileen Moushey directs Weathervane's show.
Set in a comfortable, upper middle class home out in the country, wealthy widow Mrs. Branson (Jo McGarvey) is the center of attention in the main room, where almost all of the action takes place. Her subdued, lonely niece, Olivia (Jennifer Hayek), is tasked with getting her aunt's medicine on time, along with fulfilling every other whim, while trying to figure out how to tell her daily gentleman caller Hubert (Adam Adlerson), that she just doesn't like him that much.
Though dependent on Olivia, the lady of the house nonetheless won't part with the key to the safe, and a small fortune locked away there.
Enter Dora (Allison Good), the junior maid -- and by the way, Mum, she's pregnant, but he's a wonderful lad she became acquainted with one night in town.
Mrs. Branson, going from one extreme to the next, is at first ready to send Dora packing, but demands an interview with the lad, after ruling the two simply must get married!
And so, Danny (Jonathan Riese) makes his entrance, turns on the charm, and becomes the widow's constant companion. He seems too good to be true. When a woman from town goes missing and her severed hand is found in the home's rubbish heap, suspicions arise. Could Danny be responsible?
He's so charming that even prim and proper Olivia smiles secretly at his jokes. How could he be?
Also in the cast is Stow resident Tom Stephan as Inspector Belize.
Ticket and show information
"Night Must Fall" is directed by freelance writer/director Eileen Moushey and can be seen through Oct. 27 on Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. The show is performed with an intermission.
Tickets can be purchased by calling the ticket office at 330-836-2626, or by visiting www.weathervaneplayhouse.com. Tickets are $21 for adults and $5 for students. Group tickets are $15 each with the purchase of 10 or more, with ticket No. 11 free for the group leader.
The theater is at 1301 Weathervane Lane in Akron's Merriman Valley district.
Next on stage
Weathervane will next produce "The Waverly Gallery," which will run Oct. 31 to Nov. 16.