top of page

The curtain came down on Death by Design following a week of great entertainment with full houses on the final two performances. The play provided some much needed light-hearted fun in our season breaking up the more dramatic nature of 1984 and Colder Than Here.


The whole team that worked on this production did a wonderful job. The set, highest we've ever built, looked absolutely marvellous and really set up the period and the performance exceptionally. The costumes, hair and make-up were a lovely cherry on the top of the cake which gave the overall look and feel that director Martin Cook was keen to establish. The cast were faultless, with regular, returning and new members gelling superbly into a cohesive unit that had a lot of fun throughout the whole process.


Below you can find Martin's programme comments and some shots from our Dress Rehearsal.


Director Martin Cook's Programme notes from Death by Design.

Good evening and welcome to the Hippodrome Theatre for this evening’s performance of Death by Design by Rob Urbinati.


From the moment I read this script months ago I believed it had great potential to bring joy and laughter to the Hippodrome stage. From the moment we workshopped the auditions I was certain! Agatha Christie meets Noel Coward in this, at times, frankly ridiculous comedy caper and I sincerely hope you enjoy the evening as we transport you back to the early 1930s.


However, before we get into that, it would be remiss of me not to make some well deserved and deeply appreciated “thank yous”. The Hippodrome is entirely staffed and maintained by passionate and committed volunteers and no production is possible without the work of many people giving freely of their time, creativity and expertise. As such, I must thank all who have worked on this production from James, as my coordinator, who has kept an eye on all the admin and timetables needed, to David and the stage team, Maddie and her wardrobe maestros, the hard work sourcing props from Gina, Vanessa, Nina and James, the finishing touches to hair and make-up from Kate and Lucy, the exquisite lighting and sound provided by Aysa and Leila and the creative skills of James (again) as our set painter and stage manger keeping us In line during show week. All of these individuals are needed to put the production you see tonight onto the stage.


I must also offer my warmest thanks to all our volunteers front of house and behind the scenes in other areas. The publicity teams, the box office staff, the bar, sweet stalls, ushers, programme creators and sellers, and house managers are just as vital – we cannot open the doors to you without them. So to anyone, In anyway, that has helped to bring this production to the stage. Thank you!


My final word however, needs to go to my cast. From the word go they bought into my vision for the play. They have given me everything and with great humour. We have had a ball in rehearsals and I couldn’t have asked for a more talented, committed and wonderful group to work with on this production. So thank you to you all – you have made my job so much easier and enjoyable.


All that remains is to for me to thank you, the audience for supporting us at the Hippodrome and I very much hope you enjoy your evening

original (22).jpg

Death by Design on Stage

original (23).jpg
original (24).jpg
original (25).jpg
original (26).jpg
original (27).jpg
original (28).jpg
original (29).jpg
original (30).jpg
original (31).jpg
original (32).jpg

Scripts are down! It's getting close!

Breaking the routine of 'conventional' rehearsals recently with a relaxed evening of line running! 

"A Murderer is among us!"

With June now upon us it isn't long until the curtain rises on our June production of Death by Design. The whole team at the Hippodrome are hard at work to bring this play to life and with a beautifully grand set, an amazingly talented cast and one heck of a funny script; it promises to be a light-hearted evening of laugher and frivolity!

Under the direction of Martin Cook, who returns as director of an adult section play for the first time since Accrington Pals in 2016, the cast have been hard at work since the end of March and we're delighted that we have new faces joining us for this production as well as regular and returning members on the Hippodrome stage. Martin says "It is a delight to have such a wonderfully talented cast that have all gelled together, thrown themselves into the piece and embraced the ridiculousness of the script! It has been such good fun rehearsing this play and we can't wait to share it with our audience". 

Death by Design has been described as Agatha Christie meets Noel Coward and we promise that is what you will get! A 'who-dunnit' with a twist of humour! This performance is only playing to the stalls only so please do book early to avoid disappointment!


Casting Announcement

Following a fantastic turn out at our read-through and open audition TAODS is please to announce the casting of our upcoming comedy Death by Design:

Bridgit - Janet Spooner

Jack - Joel Brown

Edward Bennett - Joe Marsden

Sorel Bennet - Ceri Garnett

Walter Pearce - Roger King

Victoria van Roth - Kelly Parker

Eric - Dan Mugan

Alice - Chloe McNeill

We would like to thank everyone who came to the readthrough and especially the workshop audition for really throwing yourselves into the fun and spirit of the play.

Death by Design

By Rob Urbinati

What happens when you mix the brilliant wit of Noël Coward with the intricate plotting of Agatha Christie? 

Set during a weekend in an English country manor in 1932, Death by Design is a hilarious, delightful and mysterious mash-up of two of the greatest English writers of all time. Edward Bennett, a playwright, and his wife, Sorel Bennett, an actress, flee London and head to Cookham after a disastrous opening night. But various guests arrive unexpectedly – a conservative politician, a fiery socialist, a nearsighted ingénue, a zany modern dancer – each with a long-held secret. When one of the guests is murdered, it’s left to Bridgit, the feisty Irish maid with a macabre interest in homicide, to solve the crime. Death by Design is more than homage – it’s a new classic.

TAODS is proud to present this farcical murder mystery caper this summer. Award winning director Martin Cook will be at the helm of this mish-mash of characters as each and everyone of them has their own motives for disposing of the victim!

bottom of page