Round 3 fo the Murder On The Nile Character Parade – its Smiffy !

Here’s the third of our profiles of the Murder On The Nile characters. This time is the very ordinary Mr Smith – but……is he as ordinary as he is saying ….img_2433

Depends who’s asking. I still don’t really know, but I hope to find out one day. In the meantime, I go by the given name of Paul Winspear
Smith. William Smith. Or, in the street version called Moider on da Nile, I play Will.I.Am Smith.According to Wikipedia, he’s a “wise-cracking kid”. Well, they’ve got the wise-cracking bit right – he’s got some lovely, ascerbic one-line put-downs (not like me at all).
He’s flying solo on the paddle steamer Lotus. He’s a Communist sympathiser who sides with the workers of the world rather than society’s wealthy and privileged elite – although he has something to hide on that front.
“Talking of crime, I feel something should be done about your aunt. A nice little dose of arsenic, for instance.”
I hope they all did it so that the whole goddam privileged bunch can be fed to the jackals. But if I had to name one, then I’d go for the parson, Canon Ambrose Pennyfather, Kay Mostyn’s godfather – he looks shifty, not at all avuncular and needs the money for his “new Jerusalem”. He’ll probably pin it on one of the hard-working beadsellers though. But don’t rule out a sniper on the sandy knoll.
Is he right ? to find out you’ll have to come to the Rhodes Arts Complex on 28-30 March to see  – tickets here 

Murder on the Nile – Doctor Who ?

Here is the second in our meet the characters series – this time its Doctor Bessner !!!


What’s your name  – Andy Roberts
Who do you play – I play Dr Bessner. He is referred to in the play as “a stout middle aged man with spectacles”, so as I have just turned 50, I tick all the boxes!. I am from a  small European country, which in my mind could be a German speaking one, maybe Austria or Switzerland (you will have to let my accent decide). He is in Egypt for the history, as he travels with his trusty Baedecker (a famous travel guide book). What puzzles me is why a doctor is also on holiday with a fully stocked doctors bag and a loaded revolver?!. My character seems to be obsessed by giving out injections and taking cast members into his cabin…please draw your own conclusions…
What’s your favourite line – “Was ist das”? – how can I forget that one?!
Who did it and why – my theory is that that shifty looking steward has poisoned the gin slings and did the deed, probably to buy a bigger boat with a fully stocked bar. But who knows?

Is he right ? to find out you’ll have to come to the Rhodes Arts Complex on 28-30 March to see  – tickets here 

Murder on the Nile – whodunnit ?

Here we go then !

Over the next few weeks we’ll be meeting the cast, finding out about their characters, and most importantly finding out who they think did it !!! No spoilers of course …..

Who’s first ?

hannah juggins

Who are you?  

Hannah Juggins

Who’s your character?

I play Kay Mostyn, a rich heiress who is used to being admired and centre stage wherever she goes.  While Kay would never wish anyone harm she is also deeply selfish, unconcerned with the feelings of others, and believes that she is entitled to social privilege, material wealth and other people’s affection.  She does come to suspect that other people hate her, but is unable to comprehend the origin of that hatred, or that it could be in any way related to her actions.

Whats your favourite line?

 ‘I wonder what I’d look like with your great clumsy fingers in my hair’
Who do you reckon did it?
As we are not joined by a butler on this journey down the Nile, I think the person who did it was the maid, Louise.  After all, who ever notices a maid?  She really could get away with murder…
Is she right ? to find out you’ll have to come to the Rhodes Arts Complex on 28-30 March to see  – tickets here 

Murder on the Nile ! Audition Pieces

MoN poster 8c

Auditions for Murder on the Nile – our new year production are on next week 23rd and 25th October at the Church Hall Monastery Gardens at 7.30 – we’d love to see you there.

Here is a link to the auction pieces to be used at the audition – with character descriptions below

Audition Pieces

In the meantime – here are the thoughts of our esteemed Director Sir Granville Rush !

Well here we are again at the start of another Water lane extravaganza at Rhodes. Although this time, by way of a very much needed change or more truthfully because we had run out of ideas, diverting away from our recent trend for 70s and 80s sit-coms towards the intellectual and highbrow deep dramas from the feathery quill of Agatha Christie.  –  I think not!   –  At least it will be Agatha Christie and will be great fun to do and more importantly it will put posteriors on the plush pads of Rhodes.

The popularity of Agatha Christie, more than any other crime writer, lies less in the drama and more in the literary, and more recently visual, “crossword” plots she creates. We are by nature and evolution an animal of instinctive enquiry striving to fathom the complicated and resolve the puzzle. Christie vitalises this instinct by the simplicity of her writing allowing us a lot of room for the imagination. She provides just enough information as impetus for the brain to begin it’s imaginative work with scenery, characters, clever misdirection, subverting what we take for granted and above all with brilliant who-done-it solutions. Her books may not be Intellectual and highbrow, but she is certainly a great storyteller.

Let’s now get back to ”Murder on the Nile” which should not be confused with “Death on the Nile” as I will explain.

The play was based on her 1937 novel “Death on the Nile” ironically starting life as a play itself which she called “Moon on the Nile”. In 1942 an actor friend persuaded Christie to resurrect the play version in order for him to take on the role of Hercule Poirot. However, she was getting very tired of her little irritating Belgian detective and so exclude Poirot from the drama altogether in favour of a new character, Canon Ambrose Pennefather. The play opened in Dundee under yet another name “Hidden Horizon” and eventually at the Ambassadors Theatre in the West End in March 1946 as “Murder on the Nile”.  Still with me?

At this point I must say that her decision to eliminate Poirot from the plot is a godsend for any director. Trying to find a short fat pompous French accented actor amongst Water Lane’s finest is almost impossible! – Answers on a postcard (but don’t send them to me).

So now to the plot!

Murder on the Nile  –  The synopsis                                                                                                                 Simon Mostyn and his wealthy socialite wife Kay find themselves being pursued on their honeymoon by Jacqueline, the ex-fiance of the newly wedded groom. Also on board are a mysterious cynical man, a mid European doctor, a pompous upper class woman and her quiet plain niece. Tragedy strikes and a body is discovered, all fingers point to Jacqueline. However, everything is not what it seems and holidaying cleric Canon Pennefather, Kay’s godfather, is drawn into a web of intrigue anddeceit as he finds himself on the trail of a ruthless murderer. Murder on the Nile has a host of colourful characters and all the twists and turns of a classic Christie thriller to keep you guessing to the final shattering climax

The characters

Canon Ambrose Pennefather   (M)  –      50s/60s, clergyman, , – Kay’s uncle/godfather.

Kay Ridgeway-Mostyn            (F)     –      30S/40S+, attractive, assured and used to her own way  “supposedly” the richest woman in England.

Simon Mostyn                          (M)   –      35/40S+ (could be 40s+), attractive boyish charmer, shallow –  Kay’s husband.

Jacqueline de Severac              (F)     –      30/40S, dark and vivacious, Kay’s ex-best friend and Simon’s ex-fiancée.

Helen Ffoliot-Ffoulkes            (F)     –      50s/70s, a wealthy autocratic snob

Christina Grant                         (F)     –      20/35+, sweet natured and even tempered – Miss Ffoliot- Ffoulkes’ niece

William Smith                         (M)   –      30S/50s, revolutionary with communist outlook, underneath a well educated titled man.

Dr. Bessner                              (M)   –      40S/50s+, rather stout doctor with a thick middle-                                                 European accent – from a country which Kay’s father ruined.

Louise                                       (F)     –      20s/40s+, (could be younger or older) French accented- Kay’s maid

Cpt. McNaught                         (M)   –      40S/60S The Lotus’s captain

Steward                                    (M)   –      20s/40s+ Egyptian, speaks broken English






We’re going down the Christmas Market !!

Its the annual Bishop’s Stortford Christmas Market on North Street on Saturday 1st December.
Festive oration and musical  accompaniment is to be provided by us at Water Lane.
This will consist of festive based monologues and duologues and inter dispersed with suitably picked music.
Currently we have 5-6 players who will perform their festive offering.
But will still have room to fit more people in so please show your interest.
If you would like to take part email us at or get in touch on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram 
Even if you don’t want to take part please come along and say hello.
Screen Shot 2018-10-18 at 17.53.19

One act one night- the big review by Lynda

We asked our very own Lynda Shelverton to give us an unbiased view of the goings on on last Friday night – this is what she said !!

lynda shelverton photo
‘On Friday I went along to Water Lane Theatre Company’s  in house event of One Act One Night. The programme started with a very funny 5 handed sketch called Nickers. The old adage of,  if you fail to plan then you will plan to fail, proved to be very true when one hapless burglar finds that she is not the only one to have the idea of targeting this particular  household to rob. The sketch was very funny and very imaginatively directed with action tacking place  from the start set amongst the audience. 
The next act was  a short piece from the stage play of Dangerous Liaisons. The actors had learnt their lines independently and were only going to be performing together for the first time that evening. The characters of the sketch the Marquise de Merteuil and the Vicomte de Vamont who are two rivals (and ex lovers) are meeting  up to vie with each other in their plans to exploit others with each trying get the upper hand with each other, was very expertly performed by the two actors. They really brought across the story of the use of seduction as a weapon to socially control others , would ultimately bring them to a state of war with each other.
The evening continued  with a musical interlude, a  couple of  Shakespeare’s sonnets were beautifully sung by Sean Burke accompanying himself on the Guitar.
Then came the final offering of the evening. The  greatly missed Victoria Wood’s wonderful set of sketches that she wrote for her show “As seen on TV   (1985) . Acorn Antiques, the well known story set in a shop in the made up town of Manchesterford. The cast brilliantly brought to the stage these wonderful sketches both in characterisation , bad acting , set malfunctions, poor entrance timings  and all the other wonderfully devised mistakes that Ms Wood had brilliantly written.
Well done to all. At the evenings end I went away feeling very happy and very thankful that as a member of this wonderful company I was able to, for one night only, be thoroughly entertained.’


There is a new shop opening this Friday in the heart of Bishops Stortford and its called ……. Acorn Antiques!


Still glowing from the success of their original antiques shop, on the outskirts of Manchesterford, the owners of Acorn Antiques are excited to announce that they, along with their trusty staff and customers will be opening a very special new ‘pop up shop’ in Bishops Stortford, ’if you please’ this Friday evening – to a glittering fanfare for local residents!

Miss Babs, Miss Berta, their loyal daily Mrs Overall, Derek the handyman, Trixie from packing, and not forgetting the debonair Clifford and smooth talking cousin Jerez, will be there to meet and greet you, along with a lovely presenter, covering the nights events for the regional BBC news desk, a couple of their most loyal customers and……. well a rather harassed stage manager too?!

So settle in with a mug of their finest homemade sherry and a couple of Mrs O’s ginger bourbons and enjoy hearing all of their exciting news and views, not to mention what’s in the latest deliverers and who’s finally made it to the ‘ends of line’ display!

Searching out that ‘must have’ treasure will never be the same again once you have popped in to Acorn Antiques.

In case you hadn’t guessed  – Acorn Antiques is going to be perform as part of our Our One Act One Night evening on this Friday 28th September at St Michael’s Primary School Apton Road – you can come along and pay £5 on the door – curtain up 7.30 – bring your own refreshments.