Deathtrap – A Quick Capsule Theatre Review


Written by award-winning playwright and author Ira Levin (Rosemary’s Baby, The Stepford Wives and Critics Choice) Deathtrap is described best as both a send up and salute to the mid- 20th century stage thriller.  It holds the record for the longest-running comedy-thriller on Broadway, and has previously been nominated for four Tony Awards, including Best Play and now arrives in Eastbourne for a short run at the excellent Devonshire Park Theatre.

In short: Accomplished and celebrated playwright Sidney Bruhl is suffering from a bout of writer’s block and fading success.  But when he’s handed a once in a lifetime script for a gripping thriller from a student, Sidney sees a way out.  Could this be the play he needs to get back on top once again?

A play in two acts, Deathtrap is expertly performed, witty and sharply staged. It’s unexpected twists and turns both embraces and plays with tropes of the genre it resides in yet it’s never far from the demanded jump, surprise or scare.  Satire is often best when delivered so close to the truth and that is certainly true here. You can see why the play lapped up awards on its original runs.

Best of all the dialogue is sharply written and the cast are obviously relishing the opportunity to deliver such well written prose.  Special notes go out to Ross Waiton​ and Natasha Gray who manage to stand out from a uniformly excellent cast.

Deathtrap is not that play you expect.  It’s not even the play IT expects at times. No… Deathtrap is a razor sharp, playful put together mystery that surprises, delights and entertains in equal measure.  Highly recommended

 Ross Waiton​, Katy Dean, Natasha Gray, John Hester & Ewan Goddard. Directed by Phil Stewart


Deathtrap is currently performing at The Devonshire Park Theatre in Eastbourne from Wednesday 10 July 2019 to Saturday 20 July 2019.