Hook Players' theatre group is introducing its 2024 spring production, Death By Fatal Murder, the third installation of the Inspector Pratt series by author Peter Gordon.

The play is a 'hilarious whodunnit', of which the production company has already performed the first two instalments, Murdered to Death (2010) and Secondary Cause of Death (2013).

The plot unfolds in 1940 during wartime, where Constable Atkins has gone missing, and murder is suspected. Inspector Pratt, played by Paul Cuttle, is tasked to solve the mystery.

The inspector is described as 'the most inept and gaff-prone detective since Clouseau'.

Basingstoke Gazette: Hook Players rehearsingHook Players rehearsing (Image: Contributed)

The production draws on the skills of seasoned Hook Players' performers, with the addition of a new actor.

 The show is produced by Trevor Bonnin-Barkham and directed by Ros Shepherd, with the assistance of Helen Carter.

The cast includes Caroline Ebsworth as new homeowner Nancy Allwright, newcomer Charisse Lau as the land girl Ginny, and David Burroughs Parke as Constable Thompkins, exuding 'efficiency and weariness'.

Additional characters are performed by actors Lily Ebsworth, Hazel Bonnin-Barkham, Elizabeth Knight, Mike Cooper, Warwick Howe, and Katie Blackburn.

Producer Trevor Bonnin-Barkham said: "In producing this show, I get to see the hidden talents of the backstage crew and there are some real gems to be seen in this. Our resident set designer Anne Grigg has surpassed herself by designing a period interior scene of Bagshot House.

"When the curtains open, you will be transported to the 1940s as a fly on the wall to this very funny play. Watching the cast from the sidelines, I have been reminded by the director to keep quiet as I momentarily burst out laughing. I am very much looking forward to seeing all the hard work of the team coming together in the next few weeks."

Director Ros Shepherd said: "If indeed laughter is the best medicine, you’ll all be fit as fleas!"

Basingstoke Gazette: 'Death by Fatal Murder' poster'Death by Fatal Murder' poster (Image: Contributed)

The play is scheduled to run between March 21-23 at 7.30pm. Visitors can enjoy a licensed bar, raffle draw, and light refreshments.

The venue is the Elizabeth Hall, located at Raven Road in Hook, RG27 9HH.

Tickets are priced at £14 on March 21 and will be £16 for the following two days. Tickets are available on the Hook Players’ website, and the box office can be reached at 07709 214679.