On this Tuesday evening in early July, sat in one of the plush green seats at Nottingham’s Theatre Royal, I note that the atmosphere is very different to the pre-show buzz I have come to expect. The audience is at half capacity and we’re socially distanced, but I have to assume everyone is smiling behind their masks because after 18 months of lockdowns and restrictions that have (and continue to) negatively impact the arts…the theatre is open again!
Third up in the annual Colin McIntyre Classic Thriller Season is The Kiss of Death. With a title like that you would expect a gripping plot with plenty of tension and an underlying sense of unease. After a rather slow opening 15 minutes, The Kiss of Death delivers that in spades.
The Kiss of Death is a modern thriller set in the year 2000 that sees actress Zoe Lang (Anna Mitcham) attend an unusual improvisation workshop. She impresses the casting director who, it soon transpires, is in fact police sergeant Brocklebank (Cameron Johnson), accompanied by colleague Bernard (Jeremy Lloyd Thomas) who provides much of the show’s droll, cynical humour. They would like the talented Zoe to pose as bait for a serial killer, you see. A serial killer who has already murdered five women and carried out some particularly gruesome acts on their bodies, giving him the moniker of “The Surgeon.”
What follows is an hour of classic cat and mouse with some smoke and mirrors thrown in for good measure. Admittedly the script is a little clunky in places but there’s enough going on action-wise that you’ll be drawn in along with Zoe and her police cohorts as they work against the clock to uncover The Surgeon’s identity.
Yes, covid restrictions mean you will have to keep your mask on for the duration of the performance, but The Kiss of Death will have you forgetting all about PPE and thinking only of what the sinister antagonist’s next move will be.
By Laura Somers
The Kiss of Death is showing at Theatre Royal from 6th- 10th July Tickets available here