Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield – until 28 August 2021, then touring
Guest reviewer: Sal E Marino
A very warm and Covid-friendly welcome was received from the Lyceum staff as they greeted an excited audience for the opening night of Looking Good Dead, a stage adaptation (Shaun McKenna) of a Peter James novel. Brilliantly directed by Jonathan O’Boyle, the play sees EastEnders veteran Adam Woodyatt return to the stage along with fellow soap star Gaynor Faye (Coronation Street, Emmerdale) and together these two created an authentic chemistry that drew you into the family unit and drama straight away.
With every great chilling tale, questions and suspicions start to emerge as we begin to learn that Tom Bryce’s (Woodyatt) business is in trouble and that there are family issues bubbling under the surface; one starts to think ‘all is not what it seems’. Tom, after finding a strangers USB stick on the train and his son Max (Luke Ward-Wilkinson) become witnesses to a horrific murder that they see online.
Afterwards Tom is adamant that they shouldn’t report the crime to the police, Max goes against his reasoning and this then has disastrous consequences – placing the family in grave danger. Harry Long, Leon Stewart and Gemma Stroyan play the police trio who have been assigned to the case and provide lots of humorous dry quips aplenty as they try to fathom out ‘whodunnit?’
An innovative and creative set by Michael Holt, allows the audience to see two scenes at once – the torture chamber and the family home which make the play pacey, moving the action along so that one never gets lost in the events and don’t lose interest in the narrative. There are some real moments of suspense and lots of twists and turns that keep audience members on the edge of their seats, right up until the last spine-chilling moments (but I won’t say anymore as I don’t want to give the game away!).
Looking Good Dead is the perfect thriller so be prepared for lots of suspense and take someone along with you who has a strong hand to squeeze!