Peggy Jolley's traditional Yorkshire cafe in Adel, The Jolly Piglet, is a popular local business, while Peggy herself is widely respected for her charity work. However, when her son becomes romantically involved with the Spanish owner of the rival cafe next door despite being engaged to someone else, Peggy decides action is needed. She hasn’t always played by the rules in the past but has always come up smelling of roses. No doubt with the help of her influential friends she will this time, too …unless, of course a shocking death at The Jolly Piglet upsets her plans. For whom will it be the final reckoning and who has settled the account?
Review of "Final Reckoning"
Our thanks to Ann Lightman and Donna Shoesmith-Evans for this review:
As with the previous annual event so rudely interrupted by Covid, it was written by local historian and writer, Pat Riley. What is lovely about all of Pat’s murder mysteries is that they are set in actual Adel locations. The rest might be pure fiction, but we can visualise where the events took place. Talking of names, Pat’s humour was evident in the naming of PC Lightning – more reflective of his detective skills than PC Plod! Her humour also shone through in the jingle played on the radio to advertise the Jolly Piglet café.
Our round table of six assembled (as the tables normally seat 8, we felt very “safe”) and the room filled up, though probably with less numbers than pre-Covid. We duly bought our raffle tickets – and as we sat next to the prizes, it was obvious there were a good number to choose from. Then we chatted over and completed the crime quiz which was in three parts. First were ten general knowledge crime questions, then ten authors and their characters which one had to match up. This was challenging for someone who doesn’t read much crime fiction! Then came the photographs of TV crime series. Two to a page meant they were so clear, there was no difficulty identifying them - if we could of course. Our table achieved quite a respectable score, thanks to input from everyone.
Then, the main event - four scenes of the Play, ending with a death…and given the event, it was not just a theft, it must be a murder! Although near the back, we had an excellent view and heard every word without straining – thanks to the sound engineer and actors. Did this cast a shadow over the next part of the evening – the meal over which we tried to arrive at “who did it”? Not at all, the victim, played with conviction by Pauline Ashworth, had been revealed as a totally objectionable woman. Selfish, controlling, not only her business, but people, including her son and numerous high-ranking “friends” who it appeared she blackmailed over some indiscretion or other in their past life. It was obvious that although she won a Community hero award for her Christmas club, this too was engineered by her and the Christmas club benefitted her more than the recipients of her charity. Virtually all eight of the cast had a good motive – but the tables each had to decide who did it and why.
After the answer sheets were collected, the final act concluded the production where the answer emerged. Initially the next door neighbour (played with spirit by Digna Sindin Rodriguez) and defended valiantly by Peggy’s son (Will Andrews) was arrested. But PC Lightning (David Lancaster) was not convinced and ended up with the truth, arresting someone not even present at the death – a character played by Rob Colbeck. The twist in the plot was one our table had just not considered so congratulations to the table that won the challenge. Laura Romanowski, Alan Foale, Vivienne Bate and Bruce Chalmers completed the cast list. As is usual with Adel Players, there was a wide age-range, united by their ability to portray a character and project their voice! Jane Britton, as compere for the evening had a major role too, commanding our attention when needed and enlivening the distribution of the raffle prizes with some jokes. “How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light-bulb? One, but the light-bulb must really want to change.”, was one to remember!
With additional thanks to the Badminton section who served the food, the next Adel Players production will be ‘The Price’ by Arthur Miller- performed from 19-22 October at 1930. Tickets priced at £10 each.
Ann Lightman & Donna Shoesmith-Evans