REVIEW: Ciphers

Salisbury Journal: Photo by Robert Workman Photo by Robert Workman

CIPHERS is a fast-paced thriller exploring themes of secrets, spies and subterfuge.

Justine is a member of the Secret Services and when she dies, it’s up to her younger sister Kerry to find out what really happened to her.

A cast of four plays eight different characters, with subtle outfit changes and different accents to distinguish between them. Both sisters are brilliantly played by Grainne Keenan, and while it is usually clear which character she is, the uncertainty adds to the themes of double lives and lies which runs throughout the play.

Playwright Dawn King builds up the suspense, particularly in the first half, as the audience follows Kerry’s journey to piece together the puzzle of what happened to Justine.

There are thrilling twists and turns throughout the plot, again building on the theme of double lives, and the secret world of espionage.

Ronny Jhutti was fantastic as he switched between artist Kai and youth worker Kareem, and Bruce Alexander was equally faultless as Russian diplomat Koplov, as well as Justine and Kerry’s father Peter.

Shereen Martin was particularly good as Justine’s boss Sunita, and Kai’s wife Anoushka – who added welcome comedy moments.

* Ciphers by Dawn King runs until Saturday at Salisbury Playhouse – 01722 320333 salisburyplayhouse.com.

HANNAH WHITE

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