Monday, September 13, 2010

'Deathtrap' Kills at the Noel Coward Theatre - The Review

This revival of the thriller written by Ira Levin stars Simon Russell Beale and Jonathan Groff ('Spring Awakening' and "Glee"). Is it still relevant today and does it still thrill an audience? From this Monday night performance, it sounds like it did. Screams and gasps were evident. But this is not a screams-by-the-minute horror show. Instead it is a thoughtfully written piece as a battle of wits between the characters that becomes increasingly physical and violent.

'Deathtrap' is about a celebrated author (Beale) of Broadway thrillers who is suffering from a severe case of writer’s block. Waiting for inspiration, he receives a script from a former student (Groff) and is instantly consumed with jealousy as he realizes it is the perfect thriller. He thinks the unthinkable: to lure the would-be-playwright to his home, kill him and take ownership of the script. In a whirlpool of twists and turns, only one thing is certain: that death and deception are chillingly related.

With an actor as consummate as Beale, every eye movement to every grin speaks volumes as much as the dialogue. He commands the stage from the get go never missing a beat as the failing playwright. Jonathan Groff shows his maturity as an actor in the role of the young bright but not necessarily naive playwright.

It’s been a while since I have seen any version of this play so it was almost like seeing it for the first time. The plot twists of this thriller are good fun. With London ticket prices being so reasonable compared to New York, this production is worth it.

  • Website:
  • Where:  Noel Coward Theatre, London (Tube: Leicester Square)
  • When:  Mon-Sat 7:30pm; Matinees Wed & Sat at 3pm
  • Running Time:
  • Ticket Prices:  £19.50 - £49.50
  • Opening:  Sept 7, 2010 (previews from Aug 21, 2010)
  • Closing:  January 22, 2011
  • Book online: 
  • Book by phone:  0844 482 5140
Photos used for illustration purposes only and do represent the actual production design.


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