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The Secret Keeper's Murder

WHO dunnit? That was the question on everyone's lips at the end of an intriguing home-spun medieval murder mystery performed by the Clatford Amateur Dramatic Society. It was the loyal Lady in Waiting, of course!The trusty Queen's servant, played by Lynn Brown, poisoned the King's wine with foxgloves hoping it would be tasted first by the evil Tripewick (Geoff Scard) and he would perish for his wicked deeds. He tricked the Queen (Margaret Scard) into thinking her one and only child was so deformed it would be killed by the King ( Bob Houghton ) so spirited it away to a 'kind' home and demanded she pretended it had been stillborn.
Years later the secret is revealed when Lord Hampshire (Sharon Colpman) confesses his indiscretion with pregnant palace maid Anna ( Helen Woods ) and asks to be relieved of his title so he can marry her. He discovers he is not a commoner at all but a handsome prince and heir to the throne.
He succeeds the King, marries his true love and they live happily ever after. The Lady in Waiting's life is spared for the 'accidental' murder, but the deceitful Tripewick goes off to the gallows. Some wonderfully amusing moments below stairs as the cook (Christine McCann) deals with the merchant (Marlene Saunders) and her kitchen staff prepare for the anniversary feast. David the Boy (Ben Bray) falls asleep turning the spit and steals food from Rebecca's (Velma Oxtoby) table.
The Queen Mother's (Jean Williams) comic timing was brilliant and the diminutive guard Dennis Newnham only had to raise his incredible eyebrows for an instant reaction from an appreciative crowd. Retired postman Dave Painter and David Benwell made a good double act as palace guards and Annie Willens charmed the audience with her delightful mime.