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Peter James' The Perfect Murder

Sep 8 – Nov 13
Barter Stage II

“It’s a night for everyone, with horror, intrigue, mystery and yet plenty of comedy.”

By Peter James
Written for the stage by Shaun McKenna

Have you ever wondered how you commit the perfect murder? Victor Smiley and his wife Joan have been married for a long time. But their marriage has reached a crisis point, and Victor has decided there is only one way to get Joan out of his life forever... but he’s about to get a nasty surprise. As a young Detective Roy Grace investigates his very first homicide case, strange forces intervene and... You’ll be on the edge of your seat!

Director's Notes

A friend of mine is a motivational speaker and holds women’s weekends near a beachfront each year for women to get inspired to change their lives. She recently put up a beautiful Facebook post advertising the weekend, complete with a picture looking out from a pier to the ocean on an incredible, clear day. Over this inspiring picture was the following quote:

“You are only one decision away from a totally different life.”

I’m sure it’s my sardonic sense of humor, but I immediately started entertaining myself with what this quote might mean if the picture behind it were altered. What if the picture were of, I don’t know, the Titanic sinking? Or a bottle of poison? Maybe a meth lab? I laughed, and then realized—that’s exactly what this play is about.

Meet Joan and Victor Smiley, a middle-aged couple in the south of England that is looking for a way to shake up their lives. Each sees their spouse as a roadblock to happiness, and now they must decide what they are willing to do to make their dreams come true. They are only one shockingly strange decision away from their new lives—will they or won’t they? Joan and Victor remind just us how close we all are to choices that could change our world forever.

*A note on cockney slang: This play is set in the south of England, and one of the characters is fascinated with cockney rhyming slang. Rhyming slang phrases are made from taking an expression which rhymes with a word, and then using that expression instead of the word. Sometimes the rhyming word is dropped altogether. Here are some examples:

English — Rhymes With — Cockney slang

Stairs — Apples and pears — “Apples and pears”

Dead — Brown bread — “Brown bread”

Feet — Plates of meat — “Plates”

Knickers (aka pants) — Alan Whickers — “Alans”

Git (aka twit) — Strawberry split — “Strawberry”

Bowels — Simon Cowell’s — “Simons”

People also make up their own cockney slang expressions using these rules, as our character Don loves doing in this play.

Katy Brown, Director

Cast & Credits

Victor Smiley: Michael Poisson
Kamilia Walcak: Carrie Smith Lewis
Joan Smiley: Jill Anderson
Detective Constable Roy Grace: Justin Tyler Lewis
Don Kirk: Nicholas Piper

Rehearsal Assistant Stage Manager: Victoria L. Sutton


Director: Katy Brown
Set Designer: Hana Goff
Costume Designer: Lee Alexander Martin
Wig & Makeup Designer: Whitney Kaibel
Lighting Designer: Camille Davis
Sound Designer: Tony Angelini
Stage Manager: Cindi A. Raebel
Fight Coordinator: Justin Tyler Lewis
Fight Captain: Justin Tyler Lewis

Corporate Sponsors
Abingdon Roofing
Dr. Frances Anne Johnston, DDS

Media Sponsors
News Channel 11