A perfect thriller

The cast of The Perfect Murder during rehearsals ahead of a week-long run at Buxton Opera House. Photo: Daisy Honeybunn.
The cast of The Perfect Murder during rehearsals ahead of a week-long run at Buxton Opera House. Photo: Daisy Honeybunn.

Ever wondered how to commit the perfect murder?

Having delighted and frightened audiences across the country from Bath to Glasgow with its darkly comic and thrilling storyline, Peter James’ best-selling novel The Perfect Murder is set for an extended run at Buxton Opera House later this month.

This is the first-ever stage production of the work of international best-selling crime thriller novelist James, who has sold over 15 million books of his Roy Grace series and been published in 36 languages.

The Perfect Murder, which topped the book charts for 15 weeks, has been adapted for the stage by award-winning writer Shaun McKenna.

James said: “Ever since I was a small boy when my parents first took me to the theatre, I dreamed of one day having something I wrote appear on stage and this wonderful, extremely funny - and in parts very scary - adaptation of The Perfect Murder is a dream come true.”

The Perfect Murder tells the story of Victor Smiley and his wife Joan. After years together their marriage has reached crisis point and Victor has decided there is only one way to get Joan out of his life forever... but he’s about to get a nasty surprise.

As a young detective, Roy Grace, starts to investigate his very first homicide case, dark forces intervene and Grace begins to fear that nothing is quite as it seems.

Olivier Award-winner Ian Talbot directs an all-star cast which includes Robert Daws, Dawn Steele and Gray O’Brien.

Having donned his white coat for eight series of ITV’s 1960s hospital drama The Royal, Daws, best-known to millions as Dr Gordon Ormerod, will play Victor Smiley.

Steele has starred in numerous hit TV series including the BBC’s Monarch of the Glen, Sea of Souls, and she played the hugely-popular character of Alice Collins in ITV’s Wild at Heart.

O’Brien, who continues his highly-acclaimed role as the loveable Don Kirk, recently enjoyed an award-winning three years in Coronation Street as the villainous Weatherfield businessman Tony Gordon and has also starred in the TV series Titanic, Peak Practice and Casualty.

Performances of The Perfect Murder will be held at Buxton Opera House from Monday September 22 to Saturday September 27, each evening at 7.30pm, with matinee performances at 2.30pm on the Thursday and Saturday.

Tickets, priced from £19.50 to £27.50, are available on 0845 127 2190 or via www.buxtonoperahouse.org.uk.