Is it really right to shoot a burglar?

Debut director Ian Edmundson (right) with members of the cast in Fylde'Coast Players forthcoming production of Dead Of Night (from left) Andy'Cooke (Jack), Paul Lomax (Dennis), Katherine Wholey (Maggie) and Heather Cartmell (Lynne)
Debut director Ian Edmundson (right) with members of the cast in Fylde'Coast Players forthcoming production of Dead Of Night (from left) Andy'Cooke (Jack), Paul Lomax (Dennis), Katherine Wholey (Maggie) and Heather Cartmell (Lynne)

Dead of night

Fylde Coast Players

Lowther Pavilion, Lytham

A well written play, as one would expect from the author of more than 500 episodes of Coronation Street, Dead of Night held the attention right up to the totally unexpected and dramatic ending.

Jack Lilley has been on trial for manslaughter after shooting an armed burglar who had broken into his flat.

Jack maintained that he had used reasonable force to apprehend the intruder but, in the resultant struggle, he accidentally shot and killed him.

The jury believe his story and he is acquitted and the play begins when he returns home to his girlfriend, Maggie, to celebrate his release.

Andy Cooke gave a tour de force performance as Jack, coming across as a likeable rogue, a bit of a Jack the Lad, and devoted to Maggie (played with real feeling by Gill Edwards). So why is she so reluctant to accept his persistent proposals of marriage?

The couple are joined by their friends, neighbours Dennis and Lynne. Dennis, a liberal minded teacher, makes it clear he never approved of Jack shooting the burglar in the first place and an argument ensues whereupon it slowly becomes apparent that Jack may not have been telling the whole truth in court.

Heather Cartmell made a lively Lynne, who has an explosive secret about to be revealed, and Paul Lomax came across as a typical meddling do-gooder.

Directed by Ian Edmundson, this was way above your average stage thriller with twists and turns.

Ron Ellis