The Vaults, London – until 25 August 2019
Maltesers, mystery and mayhem leads to a fun and entertaining stage adaptation of Anthony Horowitz’s book.
Filled with car chases, quirky characters and even some songs, New Old Friends’ stage adaptation of Anthony Horowitz’s story is lively and engaging from start to finish.
Tim Diamond runs a private detective agency – but unfortunately for him he isn’t very good at it and needs all the help he can get from his younger brother Nick to help him solve the most difficult case to date involving an unexpected package of Maltesers delivered by a miniature Mexican. But what is the significance of the Maltesers that makes the London criminal world want to kill Nick and Tim for?
Adapted for the stage by Feargus Woods Dunlop, The Falcon’s Malteser captures the spirit, humour and element of excitement that exists in Anthony Horowitz’s stories with great success, managing to keep the audience thoroughly engaged. Lee Lyford’s production is wonderfully imaginative – particularly when it comes to the choreography of scenes such as the exciting car chase or the way in which he uses Carl Davies’ set design to hilarious effect during Nick and Tim’s journey to the hotel to confront Johnny Naples.
But it has to be said that the use of songs in random moments (while excellently witty) can feel a bit more of a distraction from the story itself and don’t really add anything to the audience’s understanding of what is unfolding. Meanwhile, it also feels that the final scenes feel a little bit rushed through and don’t give a sense of the build up to the criminal being uncovered.
That being said, this is a show that is great at getting the balance between the slapstick humour and the elements of danger and excitement that Nick and Tim face just right, moving from one to the other with great success as seen as the pair travel from a corner shop to the hotel where Johnny Naples is staying that leads to a shocking arrest.
Meanwhile, the cast are all excellent in bringing a range of characters to life. Sian Eleanor Green effectively highlights Nick’s perceptiveness and being the driving force behind the investigation, making a lovely contrast to Matt Jopling’s hapless and at times incompetent but endearing Tim. Samantha Sutherland and Fergus Leathem are consistently hilarious as a wide variety of characters with wonderfully exaggerated personalities that capture the zaniness of the show as a whole.
Overall, The Falcon’s Malteser is bundles of fun and excitement that reflects Anthony Horowitz’s writing perfectly.
By Emma Clarendon
The Falcon’s Malteser continues to play at The Vaults until the 25th August.