Agatha Christie’s murder mystery The Mirror Crack’d comes to the Birmingham stage in a safe and sedate adaptation by Rachel Wagstaff.

The psychological thriller is currently playing at The Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham.

Agatha Christie’s iconic Miss Marple is the central character in a tale which finds the elderly sleuth convalescing due to an injury yet circumstances force her to come out to solve a crime.

All of the tools and paraphernalia that make up a classic Christie plot are present and correct.

A manor house, a housekeeper, a murder, and a plethora of possible suspects, and a sharp minded detective are all there upon the stage but something is amiss.

Despite the story touching on some powerful and topical themes such as homosexuality, paranoia, depression and loss, the tale unfolds in a tame and gentle manner which robs it of vitality and urgency.

The clunky and meandering production is deprived of energy and momentum, and some of the cast who play American roles slip between British and American accents which robs the characters of their authenticity.

The art design, sound and lighting lack flair and the end result is a static and uninspired night at the theatre.

For a story that deals with mystery there is very little in the way of suspense or tension.

The pedestrian pacing resulted in draining the atmosphere in some of the key scenes in the drama. The inclusion of comedy was also an unfortunate hindrance as it failed to add anything dynamic to the show, and too often unbalanced the material.

Agatha Christie’s imaginative, creative and witty detective drama has been reduced to an anaemic stage experience.

VERDICT: ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

The Mirror Crack’d is now running at The Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham until Saturday 18 February 

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