A Shred of Evidence Review - Who was Driving the Killer Car?

A lone car driving erratically on a dark, serpentine country road. Two bicyclists peddling home after a late shift at work. The formula for an accident waiting to happen? You bet! But the question remains: who is the driver? That turns out to be the pivotal question in this drama. Well respected, top-notch businessman Richard Medway just happened to be on that road at almost exactly the time of the accident in which a cyclist was struck and killed. But Medway had just been at a party where alcohol flowed like water - and he doesn’t remember anything about that drive home.

 

From this premise grows the convoluted tale of a man who slowly and steadily begins to question his innocence as the evidence against him inexorably piles up. To this point, his life has been perfect, Medway (David Hunt Stafford) has a loving, supportive wife Laura (Alison Blanchard) and a clever daughter Pamela (Katy Yoder) who is just beginning graduate studies at Oxford. On the very same morning, he received the news that he’s being promoted to CEO of his organization, with all the many perks that entails. His life couldn’t be better - with one small blot which starts to spread and darken his every dream.

 

The talented cast in A SHRED OF EVIDENCE is spot-on in digging into Medway’s moral and ethical dilemma. Is a cover-up the way to handle this? Should he come clean and face the consequences? Playwright R.C. Sherriff’s creative and involving piece is set in the countryside outside of London in 1958. Deserving of special note is Linda Brennan’s assistance with dialects; the actors sound as if they just stepped from the boards of a London theater. Director Jules Aaron finds the right balance in setting out the issues raised in this play. While accepting how serious they are, he still occasionally nudges the audience with his elbow. The tension builds throughout the play, which is relatively long but easily holds the audience’s attention, until the denouement - when an almost audible sigh can be heard in the theater.

 

Jeff G. Rack’s set design fills the bill for an English countryside manor, while Ric Zimmerman’s lighting and Joseph “Sloe” Slawinski’s sound adds to the overall impression. As always, the production team does a great job of creating an ambiance fitting the play. 

 

A SHRED OF EVIDENCE runs through April 11, 2016, with performances at 8 p.m. on Thursdays through Saturdays and at 2 p.m. on Sundays. Theatre 40, in the Reuben Cordova Theatre, is located at 241 S. Moreno Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90212. Tickets are $30. For reservations, call 310-364-0535 or go online at www.theatre40.org.

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