LES Dennis might not seem like an obvious choice to play a menacing murderer, but the Family Fortunes host plays scheming Victor Smiley perfectly in this adaptation of Peter James’ novel.
After 20 years of marriage, love has turned to bickering, and crime thriller enthusiast Victor dreams of murdering his wife Joan and running off with psychic Croatian prostitute Kamila.
Watching too much Poirot and Miss Marple, he has rules for planning the perfect murder and lives by his mantra WWSD – what would Sherlock do?
But unbeknown to Victor, Joan – played brilliantly with a sort of Sybil Fawlty edge by Claire Goose – has her own schemes, and the plot cleverly unfolds in this dark comedy with a great twist at the end. The set is very clever, allowing us to see scenes in several different rooms in the Smileys’ house and Kamila’s room.
There are only five actors and they all do a great job. I particularly liked Gray O’Brien’s Don, Joan’s new lover, who had everyone laughing with his unusual array of cockney rhyming slang, despite hailing from Pembury.
Simona Armstrong was convincing as Kamila and Steven Miller provided James’ fans with a glimpse of the author’s famous detective Roy Grace on his first case.
The Perfect Murder is a great, fun show that provides murder and mystery but doesn’t take itself too seriously.