Thursday, April 11, 2019

When in Rome/Opening Night

Normally when I read/listen to a book that contains two separate novels, I count it as two books done. However, the BBC Radio play productions of When in Rome/Opening Night by Ngaio Marsh has condensed the action down in such a way that I don't think it would be fair to claim two books. So, this audio edition will go down as one. I've already read the hard copy of Opening Night (Night at the Vulcan) and reviewed it [click title for review]. I'll just give the brief synopsis that came with the CD case:

In Opening Night, a leading actor is found gassed in his dressing room. It looks like suicide, until it transpires that he was widely detested. Inspector Alleyn quickly realises that almost everyone in the theatre had a motive for his murder.

When in Rome finds Inspector Alleyn ostensibly on holiday in Italy. Of course, in reality he is there on an undercover mission to track down international drug-dealers. His thoughts turn to murder when one of the members of his tour group is murdered and the very shady tour group leader disappears in a most mysterious manner.

Perhaps it is because I did just read the full novel, but it seemed to me that the radio drama of Opening Night was scripted much better than When in Rome. The cuts and condensation seemed to have little effect on the flow of the plot. And I enjoyed the cast's performances immensely. When in Rome seemed much more disjointed to me. Because so much was cut Alleyn appeared to be making deductions from absolutely nothing at all. One moment they find a dead body and the next moment he's confronting the killer and telling them exactly what they did and when. But all of the clues and evidence have not been produced for the listener. Conversations were jerky and broken which left me with a general feeling of bafflement.  ★★ for the production as a whole--primarily for Opening Night.

1 comment:

Carol said...

I tend to avoid dramatizations. They have such a different feel than even regular audiobooks. I find them distracting/disconcerting.