Skip to content

Grantown on Spey CrimeFest Friday 3 November 2017

November 4, 2017

There is nothing quite as awe inspiring as an autumn drive up the A9. The variety of trees and colours is simply spectacular and the crisp autumnal day was perfect for a pleasant journey.

Grantown on Spey is a splendid little Highland town in the centre of the Scottish Highland on the northern edge of the Cairngorms National Park.

The town’s Square and High Street are lined with unique, independent and interesting shops and businesses selling everything from children’s clothes to whisky, fishing line to pottery.

Most importantly, the town has a splendid bookshop owned and run by an amazing woman called Marjory Marshall. She has owned The Bookmark since 2007 and personally selects every title and the astonishing range of stock squeezed into limited shelf space is testimony to her own eclectic and very varied reading.

Marjory is the driving force behind The Wee Crime Festival now celebrating its 5th year. I’m hoping to have a chat with her while I am here, so more later.

The Wee Crime Festival is an intimate affair attended by some of the country’s best known crime writers – this year’s line up includes James Oswald, Yrsa Sigurðardóttir , Lin Anderson, Betty Trask Winner: Daniel Shand, Michael Malone, Douglas Skelton, Caro Ramsay and Mason Cross.

It is one of Scotland’s hidden gems and the only Crime Festival I know of where the audience can have dinner with the writers.

The festival had a Gala opening on Friday night with a spirited performance by the Carry on Sleuthing repertoire company of Douglas Skelton’s New play, Murder at the Knickerage.

The packed audience was clearly anticipating an exceptional evening and as the metaphorical curtain rose an expectant hush fell over the crowd. Thankfully, someone picked it up and the evening was able to carry on uninterrupted.

As Douglas Skelton says, Murder at the Knickerage is a mystery, comedy play thing. There is indeed a mystery to solve – the eponymous Murder at the Knickerage of underwear magnate Silas who was about to sell his company in order to do good works with the proceeds.

But would the audience, with the help of amateur sleuth, Letitia Lovebody, ably played by Caro Ramsay who mostly kept a remarkably straight face throughout, be able to correctly identify the killer?

With the help of her nephew Bunny (Who is all ears), Letitia sets about piecing together the clues that will lead to the unmasking of a murderer.

Along the way we will hear some of the worst jokes on the planet, in the spirit of the Carry On tradition.

Mr Skelton is clearly a man who grew up listening to episodes of Round the Horne, as some of his lines are truly worthy of the best performances of Kenneth Williams in that series.

But if there is joy in the awful puns, the true revelation here is in the simply incredible performances. Everyone deserves plaudits for the multiple parts they played, but a few highlights for me were Lin Anderson and Michael Malone as Tom and Tim the identical Timtom twins and again, Michael Malone displaying his versatility as Yorkshire (or possibly Welsh?) businessman, Anthony Adverse.

Margaret Campbell was impeccable in her dual roles of Fife the French maid and Silas’ daughter, Emily.

But the true accolade of the evening must go to author Douglas Skelton who excelled as nephew Bunny and Farquhar the faithful retainer, whilst also leading the audience through the complex plot points.

h

I don’t know whether theatres these days are looking for pantomime scripts, but I’d suggest that Skelton is just the man you want to write yours.

I laughed like a drain as did the audience; it was just the right note to begin the festival and I am really looking forward to today’s sessions.

So off for Coffee Cake and Crime this morning….more later.

2 Comments
  1. Thank you for this and really glad you enjoyed it. And yes,I am a fan of Round the Horne.

    Like

  2. Sounds brilliant fun!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

The Bibliofile

Book Reviews, Books, Bestsellers, Literary Fiction

Liz Loves Books

The Wonderful World of Reading

Daily (w)rite

Damyanti Biswas is an author, blogger, animal-lover, spiritualist. Her work is represented by Ed Wilson from the Johnson & Alcock agency. When not pottering about with her plants or her aquariums, you can find her nose deep in a book, or baking up a storm.

Being Anne...

Books, travel, and other things that make life interesting

Books in my Handbag Blog

"I love your book blog and am honoured to be there amongst such class" - Carol Drinkwater, Apr 2017

Short Book and Scribes

To the point book reviews and other bookish stuff

Bucks, Books & Beyond

This blog is for me to share with you where books have taken me recently.

Sandy's Book a Day Blog

A book a day is bliss😍

Over The Rainbow Book Blog

Book reviews and ramblings from a book mad mum of three!

Raven Crime Reads

Criminally good reads...

BOOKISH.LIFE.WORDS

Live the life of a reader

A Knight's Reads

All things bookish

Katie's Book Cave

My Book Cave full of fabulous books and authors

Barbara Copperthwaite

PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLERS TO GIVE YOU SHIVERS

Fictionophile

Fiction reviews, Bookblogger, Fiction book reviews, books, crime fiction, author interviews, mystery series, cover, love, bookish thoughts...

Audio Killed the Bookmark

Two Girls Who Love To Read Spreading the Love For All Things Bookish! 💕📚🎧

%d bloggers like this: