Dead Simple is an adaptation of the hugely successful book by Peter James that has sold over 2 million copies worldwide.

Tina Hobley in Dead Simple

Tina Hobley in Dead Simple

Michael Harrison has it all on paper- a prospering career, a spectacular home, great friends and a beautiful finance. When his stag night prank leaves him trapped in a coffin with only a limited amount of air- he is reliant on Detective Superintendent Roy Grace to find him before he dies.

Admittedly, I have not read the book, so I went to the Manchester Opera House with a fresh pair of eyes last night and it has inspired me to now buy a copy.

What begins as typical pre wedding preparations turns into a nightmare for the groom to be. With twists and turns throughout you never know who to trust in this gripping and tense production. With a small cast and compact set, the actors and behind the scenes team were successful in bringing the audience's imaginations alive.

Dead Simple was stripped back and organic, showcasing the talents of the cast and crew that can sometimes be overshadowed in larger productions.

The scenes looking into the coffin were truly unsettling as we watched Michael's hope slowly slip away. It is evident that Peter James had himself locked in a coffin in preparations for the book as the emotions and dialogue are raw. Jamie Lomas' performance stole the show for me- from being locked in the coffin to the final scenes- he looked genuinely terrified and uncertain for his future.

Despite watching Holby City for years- Tina Hobley was able to make the audience forget all of that with her convincing portrayal as the grieving fiance, Ashley Harper.

Gray O'Brien as Detective Superintendent Roy Grace achieved that perfect balance between a man with a quest for the truth but also one with a dark and complicated past.

Just when you think that you know what's going to happen, the rug is pulled out from under you- James' story translates effortlessly to the stage and I'm sure his books will continue to spark interest for future theatre productions.

Perfect for a wet, winter's eve- this is a much better alternative to a thriller movie at home or in the cinema. For any woman who plans to get married or is nearly there- any concerns you have about what will happen on your husband's stag do celebrations- this will make them fade into insignificance!

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