Blackmail (Mercury Theatre, Colchester)
Verdict: Poirot lite
The Merchant Of Venice (Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, Globe)
Verdict: Brutally to the point
There is nothing like a little blackmail to make an audience sweat.
Alfred Hitchcock knew that better than most, and it's what must have attracted him to Charles Bennett's 1928 West End play, Blackmail, which starred a young Tallulah Bankhead; and which the grand master of suspense adapted for the big screen.
It's the tale of 19-year-old Alice, a Chelsea shop assistant who kills a posh bohemian artist after he assaults her in his studio.
The set-up is a little creaky, with Alice first falling out with her honest copper fiance, Harold.
Alice's moral dilemma — come clean, or save her skin — is just about enough to carry a brisk, two-hour evening.
All the same, I'd have preferred a little more psychological intrigue, and a few more red herrings. But Anthony Banks directs a tidy production, with Jessie Hills as a sympathetic and strong-willed teenage killer
She might have got away with the killing, were she not spotted going in and out of the artist's studio by a friend of the victim — who seizes the opportunity for harga kaca tempered a spot of extortion.
Bennett went on to become a Hollywood scriptwriter, but apparently continued tinkering with the play until his death in 1995.
<div class="art-ins mol-factbox floatRHS tvshowbiz" data-version="2" id="mol-969426f0-a0b1-11ec-94bc-0519ef082213" website MARMION reviews Blackmail