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The Game is Afoot in Stage Revival of Shaffer’s Classic Sleuth

The latest stage production of Anthony Shaffer’s psychological masterpiece Sleuth has begun a four-month tour of regional theatres.

Todd Boyce (Coronation Street’s notorious baddie, Stephen Reid) and Neil McDermott (Eastenders, The Royal) star in this dark and intriguing study of human conflict, jealousy, and manipulation.

Sleuth played for a total of 12 years in both London and New York. Winning the Tony Award for Best Play, it also became the inspiration for the hugely successful film starring Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine.

This latest staging, directed by award winning Rachel Kavanaugh (The RSC/Chichester Festival Theatre), stays true to the intriguing and entertaining original. A young man (McDermott) arrives at the impressive home of a famous mystery writer (Boyce), only to be unwittingly drawn into a tangled web of intrigue and gamesmanship, where nothing is quite as it seems.

It is beautifully staged in what really does look like an opulent stately home, complete with an upper level, and the demanding script is deftly handled by McDermott and Boyce.

The Coronavirus pandemic and years of underfunding left regional theatres the length and breadth of the UK in crisis. It has never been more important to support your local theatre – seeing Sleuth is as good a way as any of making a start.

Yes, there are challenging issues of practical accessibility for disabled people at many regional theatres that were built decades ago, but attitudes have certainly changed.

There are now captioned performances, British sign language and neurodivergent-friendly shows, touch tours for blind and partially sighted people, and audio described performances.

Whilst management and welcoming front of staff - like the brilliant team at the Theatre Royal in Windsor, where Sleuth runs until February 10, work tirelessly to ensure shows are fully accessible.

Details about access and disabled facilities at theatres and of accessible performances are available on individual theatre websites.

Sleuth runs at Theatre Royal Windsor until Feb.10 ( and then at the following theatres:

·       Theatre Royal, Bath

           Mon 12 Feb - Sat 17 Feb 24 01225 448844

·       Princess Theatre, Torquay

           Tue 19 Feb - Sat 24 Feb 24

·       Grand Opera House, York

           Mon 26 Feb - Sat 2 March 24

·       Devonshire Park, Eastbourne

           Mon 4 March - Sat 9 March 24 01323 412000

·       Alhambra Theatre, Bradford

           Wed 13 March - Sat 16 March 24 01274 432000

·       Cambridge Arts Theatre

           Mon 18 March – Sat 23 March 24 01223 503333

·       Palace Theatre, Southend

           Mon 25 March - Sat 30 March 24 0343 310 0030

·       Festival Theatre, Malvern

           Mon 8 April – Sat 13 April 24 01684 892277

·       Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham

           Mon 15 April – Sat 20 April 24 01242 572573

·       Yvonne Arnaud, Guildford

           Mon 22 April – Sat 27 April 24 01483 440000

·       The Orchard, Dartford

           Tue 7 May – Sat 11 May 24 0343 310 0033

·       Richmond Theatre

           Mon 13 May – Sat 18 May 24

Photo credit: Jack Merriman




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