The scene was set in Bell End village hall as the chairman of the local wine society, Maximillian Gainford-Brown (Mr Walwyn) attempted to recruit new members by hosting a cheese and wine disco.
Flamboyant local D.J. Fabian (Mr Chim) with his fabulous hair was determined to get the party in full swing whilst wine connoisseur Jonathan (Mr Farrow) was more concerned that the lack of light would inhibit the actual wine tasting. A fantastic recital of Loving You (is easy 'cause you’re beautiful) was performed by Maximillian Gainford-Brown and Amelia Phoebe-Wellborn (Mrs Hooper) – how did she hit that top note so perfectly? Jessica Gainford-Brown (Mrs Ringham) the attention seeking wife of Max plays the perfect hostess handing round cocktail sausages and cheesy balls until she hears of the affair between her husband and Amelia Phoebe-Wellborn and proceeds to throw wine in her husband’s face during the remainder of the performance. Willamina Green (Ms Bennett), a single and successful woman, owner of the local garden centre and wine maker gave a poetry recital Pam Ayres would have been proud of and stressed under cross examination that she did know a lot about botany, with her being the owner of the local garden centre. The cast also included suspects Thomas Allman (Mr Lawson), a builder by profession and CB enthusiast who considers himself a ladies man looking very dapper in his knitted waistcoat and Racheal Hunter (Mrs Cooper), a very ambitious reporter for the local newspaper, always looking for that big scoop. When the wine begins to flow, tongues begin to loosen and people appear more attractive as A Taste for Murder unfolds. In the words of the Bee Gees and film of the year Saturday Night Fever they are all unaware that Staying Alive is the main purpose of the evening.
The evening featured the brilliant Cokethorpe Players, Mrs Hooper, Mrs Ringham, Ms Bennett, Mrs Mace, Mrs Cooper, Mr Walwyn, Mr Lawson, Mr Farrow and a brilliant debut performance by Mr Chim. Mr Byng and Miss Zoe Mace (OC 2013, Harcourt) provided back stage technical support with lighting (not to mention the mirror ball) and sound. Special thanks go to Mr Cooper returning as Inspector Foot of the Yard (the good guy, not a suspect!) in his lovely cream suit to bring order to proceedings and to help teams extract the evidence from the suspects who edged around the truth!
The audience were requested to consider all evidence and commissioned to solving the mystery of who, why and how, and only one team ‘I have absolutely no idea’, succeeded in establishing Amelia Phoebe-Wellborn (Mrs Hooper), divorced, successful and wealthy woman from old money, (we know she is posh as she owns her own antique shop) was the murderer and Racheal Hunter (Mrs Cooper) was the victim.
Huge thanks also go to Mrs Mace for pulling the event together, for the amazing costumes, the Catering team for providing a delicious curry supper, the Box Office for managing bookings and the Maintenance team for their continued support in setting up and tidying away. Congratulations and thanks again to all the Cokethorpe Players.