Inspector Drake & the Black Widow Press Review

I suppose the clue was in the pun in the title – was this play about a lady who had lost her husband or about a dangerous insect? In the end it was both but when the eponymous policeman arrived in a cardboard box and told us he had recently been “posted here” and his sergeant colleague described purchasing his pet arachnid “on the web”, we knew from the start the sort of evening we could expect.

Part farce, part pantomime and perhaps part which had developed in rehearsals, this was all great fun and a real team effort. Seldom off stage themselves, the two policemen were aided and abetted by two ladies, the latter tackling seven parts between them (multi-tasking at its best) but this was only what the playwright intended as his bit of fun at the expense of amateur societies and their sometimes limited resources. Behind the scenes, however, was a further team handling more than 90 props and 50 sound cues – I particularly liked the French windows which spoke to us (in French, of course) when opened.

Malton had only just recovered from floods and a little snow but all credit to the members of this Society for lifting our spirits so well.