With the school holidays now under way, here’s a delightful detective caper that will help keep the kids the amused over the summer.
Adapted from the 1986 book by Anthony Horowitz (creator of the Alex Rider series amongst many others), this lively stage show follows the adventures of inept private investigator Tim Diamond (Matt Jopling) and his smart 13-year-old sibling Nick (Sian Eleanor Green) as they attempt to crack a case involving a box of Maltesers left in their care by a diminutive Mexican who is then murdered in his hotel room.
As they get closer to the heart of the mystery, the Diamond Brothers meet an array of eccentric and dangerous characters, all of them played with energetic exuberance by Fergus Leathem and Samantha Sutherland.
Amid the foreign accents and frantic costume changes, there are some brilliant songs: my particular favourite being one set to the funky bass line of Sugar Hill Gang’s Rapper’s Delight. Genius.
It seems mean not to mention that Jopling – who plays the aforementioned bass line -later performs an Elvis-style number on a guitar while in handcuffs. Now that’s even more genius.
Jopling and Green are immensely likeable as the crime-busting duo, while Leathem and Sutherland brilliantly bring to life the long list of supporting characters that includes Johnny Naples, The Fat Man, Lauren Bacardi and hitman Himmell (who owns a gun called Gott).
Directed by Lee Lyford, this pun-packed play’s 80 minutes flies by and leaves you wanting more. It’s another hit from Horowitz.
The Falcon’s Malteser is at The Vaults, near London’s Waterloo Station, until 25 August