The Despondent Divorcee
Vintage mystery drama
This article is from 2014.
Saddled with an unpromising title, The Despondent Divorcee is a neatly played investigation of a brutal death; Francis Dupree has fallen from a window at a 1940’s New York hotel. The incident is captured by a passing photographer, and reporter Robert Moloney (Nathan Foad) begins his investigation, questioning the staff, guests and the owner of the Kendrick Hotel.
Each had their own interaction with Dupree, and a picture is gradually built up, not only of Dupree, but of the social mores of the time. Pitching itself somewhere between An Inspector Calls and Gosford Park, this production from HookHitch Theatre company is unusually genteel in conception; the cast are immaculately dressed, and the veneer of period behavior is carefully observed.
While the conclusions that the play comes to about the role of the media in our lives are not unexpected, the journey to get there is highly enjoyable, with snappy dialogue written by Foad and Casey Jay Andrews, some tuneful jazz and consistently strong performances. The setting of C Cubed venue, which resembles a plush hotel room, certainly helps; seekers of intelligent, well-upholstered heritage theatre will find be left anything but despondent here.
C cubed, 0131 510 2381, until Aug 25, £9.50 -£10.50 (£7.50 to £8.50).