A Murder mystery formulated by Saitan production house in association with Entelechy was presented at the Akshara Theatre. Titled, Murder At The Express, the play revolves around a rich sociopath woman, living on the fifth floor of a venerable hotel, where the rooms are no longer rented. What if she is a maniac? What if a mere improvisation of a murder trapped two actors in a real murder scenario? What if the honesty and gullibility of a maid costs her a lifetime — are some of the questions that the play poses post the very opening scene.
That’s the premise of this eerie, yet entertaining romp, which in itself is a delightfully tricky theatrical puzzle. As it begins, we think we are witnessing a real killing, only to discover that it’s just the two actors rehearsing a scene. Enter their patron, Mrs Hutton, who unsettles them with her bizarre behaviour. She announces that her maid has gone missing.
Below average performances by most of the actors, the play failed to leave an impact; lack of synchronisation between scenes adding to the woes! Directed by Bhoomika Meena, Aseem Verma, the cast comprised Ashini Patel, Bhoomika Meena, Pallavi Paruthi, Shardul Tyagi, Srishti Prakash, Udit Khurana, Aseem Verma and Suryansh Arora.
As the play progressed, the characters accuse one another of the crime. And, predictably concludes with the arrival of the not-so-dead-after-all maid, putting the mystery to rest. However, the sole noteworthy performance that the play boasts of is by director-actor Bhoomika Meena, essaying the role of Mrs Hutton.
Murder At The Empress was first produced in Oak Bay, Victoria, BC, in 1979 by the Vancouver Island Players and later adapted for production at the Jasper Park Lodge in Jasper, Alberta.