Peter Anderson chats to Roy Marsden, producer of the classic thriller Cat and The Canary at The Theatre Royal, Windsor, 15th – 25th January
Staying sane seems so simple, until 20 years after the death of Mr West, his descendants have to gather at a remote mansion to learn who will inherit his vast wealth and the hidden family jewels. When the heir is revealed, the heritage hunters turn to prey and a chain of macabre events is set in motion. Will the heirs dare to face the haunting presence toying with them? When the cat prowls, the flock takes fright…
The Cat and The Canary, the original chilling country house thriller comes to the Theatre Royal Windsor next month. Peter Anderson caught up with the producer, Roy Marsden perhaps known to many as the PD James detective, Adam Dalgliesh.
What can we look forward to with this play?” We are looking forward ourselves as rehearsals start. This is a play written in 1920s America which has seen a number of versions including a silent movie and a comedy thriller written as a vehicle for Bob Hope. Sadly, some of the play adaptions have been lost. We have moved the setting of the play from the Louisiana swamps to perhaps our most chilling of locations – Bodmin Moor.”
When did you discover your love for the theatre? “I grew up in the East End of London, and I was about eight years old when I discovered at that age you could easily travel on the Underground and nobody asked for tickets. I also found I could sneak into the gallery at the Victoria Palace Theatre. I watched the Crazy Gang, Flanagan and Allen, and the rest of them every night I was hooked. When my parents realised where I was going and what my interest was, they sorted out a kids’ drama school for me. “
Does coming to the Theatre Royal bring back happy memories for you? “I remember asking my Dad why he preferred the Theatre Royal, in Stratford East near where I grew up, to the National Theatre. He said that when you walk into the National Theatre it is the same ambience as a library, everyone talking in hushed tones. But in the Theatre Royal, if someone recognised you in the bar, they would call out and welcome you from the other side of the room.
“I love coming to the Theatre Royal – there is such a warm and welcoming atmosphere. You always get the impression that all the staff who work there are all part of one big happy family, and it is that atmosphere that really makes an audience member feel welcome when they come in to watch something.”