Enjoyable rework of an old favourite

The final show of the season for Skipton Little Theatre culminated in a flawless comedic performance by the cast of Arsenic and Old Lace.
The famous Joseph Kesselring play, set in 1940s Brooklyn, New York, portrays a bizarre sequence of events the notorious Brewster family find themselves in.
The two sisters Abby and Martha, played by Sue Clement and Shirley Rowland, kep the audience entertained with their witty one-liners. Their on-stage partnership provided the backdrop for a hilarious plot.
For years Abby and Martha had been secretly killing off elderly guests claiming it was 'charity'. But this was all threatened when nephew Mortimer, played by Philip Smith, discovered a body in the family home. Mr Smith brought to life the character through a lively and bubbly performance which was appreciated by the audience.
Teddy Brewster, played by Jeremy Bullock, thinks he is former President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, and was completely oblivious to farcial events surrounding him. A dramatic entrance by long lost nephew Jonathan Brewster, played by Dean Harness, along with his accomplice Dr Einstein, played by Neil Hellewell, took the play to a sinister level when another dead body was brought into the house. Both men were on the run and seeking a safe house to continue their misdemeanours. Caught up in the farce came Elaine Harper, played by Danielle Moore, a na´ve minister's daughter who finds herself in danger when the nasty Jonathan drags her down to the cellar.
Despite the prescene of 13 bodies in the house and the two Brewster brothers' pathetic attempts to cover them up, police officer O'Hara, played by Brian Wakeling, was more interested in getting advice than discovering the crimes. Mr Wakeling played three characters in total to an excellent standard.
Events came to a head and all was solved when Lieutenant Rooney, played by Terry Harrison, tied up all loose ends. But he refused to believe the 'sweet' aunts would have 13 bodies in their cellar and the play ended with the pair seemingly continuing their killing spree.
The cast coped well with the demands of an American accent and the audience, both young and old, clearly enjoyed themselves.

Review by Claire Burbage in The Craven Herald 18/06/04