Detective comedy to celebrate anniversary

Marreau and the Chocolate Policeman
Marreau and the Chocolate Policeman

Lovers of whodunnit comedies can celebrate 25 years of the Frayed Knot Theatre Company with the revival of the first in a series of popular plays.

Marreau and the Chocolate Policeman was the first in a series of 11 Marreau comedies written by Tring’s own Rob Farrow, and it opens at The Court Theatre tonight (Wednesday) featuring some of the original cast.

In the play, Marreau - a bumbling continental detective with similarities to a famous Agatha Christie character - and his sidekicks Gwendolyn and Simpson find themselves in the midst of a series of grisly murders at a stately home.

Among the aristocrats, upper classes, local constables and servants, everyone is a suspect, with clues flying around at lightning pace.

Will Marreau solve the mystery or will the perpetrator - or perpetrators - get away in a tangle of European red herrings?

Marreau and the Chocolate Policeman was the first play to be performed by what would become the Frayed Knot Theatre Company, one of the most active amateur drama groups in the area.

The company’s recent successes include The Full Monty, The History Boys, The 39 Steps, Jerusalem, Journey’s End, Dirty Dusting and most recently, One Man Two Guvnors.

Mr Farrow said: “Some of these were the first amateur productions of these shows anywhere and the company has gained a reputation for successfully staging ground breaking and difficult shows.

“It is such a pleasure to bring Marreau’s first outing back to the stage. I’m delighted that in addition to the original stalwarts we have several other cast members who are well known to regular audiences.”

The Frayed Knot Theatre Company was created by members from Phoenix Theatre Company who wanted to perform more unusual plays. Whilst the first Marreau play was performed under the Phoenix banner, the sequel Marreau and the African Moon was the first to be performed as Frayed Knot Theatre Company, and thereafter followed all the others.

Marreau and the Chocolate Policeman is at The Court Theatre in Tring at 8pm tonight (Wednesday) until Saturday (November 12).

Tickets cost £9 for adults and £7 for concessions, available online at www.courtttheatre.co.uk or in person from Beechwood Fine Foods in Akeman Street, Tring.