Wednesday, October 02, 2019

'Inspector Drake and the Time Machine' by David Tristram

2 October 2019

One of the highlights of the offerings from our excellent local amateur theatre company TADS over the past ten years, has been the trilogy of ‘Inspector Drake’ plays by David Tristram, starring local amateur actors Joe Butcher and Kevin Birkett as the mercurial Inspector and his intellectually challenged sidekick, Sergeant Plod. We really enjoyed ‘Inspector Drake and the Black Widow’ (reviewed here in April 2009), ‘Inspector Drake and the Perfekt Crime’ (reviewed here in July 2010) and ‘Inspector Drake’s Last Case’ (reviewed here in April 2011). It was wonderful, therefore, to be back at the TADS Theatre in Toddington last weekend to see David Tristram’s new play ‘Inspector Drake and the Time Machine’. But it was sad to discover that this performance was dedicated to the fond memory of Kevin Birkett. Dave Hillman stepped into Kevin’s formidable flat-footed shoes to play Sergeant Plod, accompanying the brilliant Joe Butcher as the Clouseau-like Inspector who seems oblivious of the most obvious things happening around him but still somehow manages to solve the case. It was another festival of corny puns, with much breaking of the fourth wall – and the added plot complications resulting from time travel. And reassuringly, as usual at the end of the play, the Inspector was presented with a briefcase covered in wrapping paper just so that he can say “well, that’s another case wrapped up”.

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