Classic comedy thriller by the Claygate Dramatic Society

Light in the dark: Arsenic and Old Lace

Light in the dark: Arsenic and Old Lace

First published in This Is Local London: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter - Richmond and Twickenham

An evening of murder and mayhem will be brought to a quiet village by the Claygate Dramatic Society.

Arsenic and Old Lace comes to Claygate under the wing of director Tony Wall, a play he has long-waited to bring to the village, after starring in the show in the West End in the 1960s alongside Dame Sybil Thorndike and a young Richard Briers.

The classic comedy thriller by Joseph Kesselring centres around two old ladies, the Brewsters, who, out of the goodness of their hearts, help lonely old men to their demise to end their suffering.

Their nephew, Mortimer, finds out what they are up to but his attempts to bring sense to the household are complicated by his brother Teddy and the unwelcome appearance of his other brother, Jonathan.

With bodies and poison about, it is up to Mortimer to keep everything hushed and under wraps while policemen pop in and out of the house.

No stranger to the story, Wall is excited about the Claygate venture, but hopes some of the antics which occurred at the Vaudeville Theatre will not be repeated, many of which were tricks by Thorndike and co-star Athene Seyler.

Wall recalls Briers coming off stage sweating profusely after one particular scene in which the pair would mischievously throw him ad lib lines, forcing him to come up with suitable responses. s.

Arsenic and Old Lace performed by the Claygate Dramatic Society; Claygate Village Hall, Church Road, Claygate; May 1 to May 3, 8pm; £10; call 01372 466621 or email

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