Theatre ReviewsTom Williams

Busman’s Honeymoon

Based on the novel by Dorothy L. Sayers

Busman's Honeymoon
Busman's Honeymoon

Adapted by Frances Limoncelli

Directed by Paul S. Holmquist

At Lifeline Theatre

Fourth adaptation of Dorothy L. Sayers’ mystery, Busman’s Honeymoon a roaring success

Dorothy L. Sayers (1893- 1957) wrote more than a dozen mystery thrillers from 1923 through 1939 featuring amateur sleuth Peter Wimsey (Peter Greenberg) and Harriet Vane, the detective novelists. Her mysteries are cleverly plotted, filled with charm, humor and wit. They are peopled with colorful characters steeped in the British tradition of rural people. These thrillers contain the erudite high bow Lord Wimsey—a most engaging sleuth and his problem-solving lover Harriet Vance.

Busman's Honeymoon
Busman's Honeymoon

Frances Limoncelli’s funny and whimsical adaptation of Busman’s Honeymoon contains the marriage of Wimsey and Vance. The early scenes take us into their world that memory reminds me that Lord Wimsey proposed marriage to Harriet Vance many time before she accepted. In this tale, the newlyweds have purchased a country home to have their honeymoon. This creaky location (terrific English Tudor style designed by Mary Griswold) become the setting for another mystery that delays the sleuths. Can love survive when life gets in the way? see how the Wimsey’s deal with that question.

When the former owner come up murdered, the mystery unfolds. The usual suspects are a collection of eccentrics each with motivations. This production flows nicely with an ensemble cast lead by Peter Greenberg (Wimsey) and Jenifer Tyler (Harriet Wimsey). I especially enjoyed the work from Phil Timberlake as Bunter, Wimsey’s gentleman’s gentleman. Kate Harris’s Miss Twitterton and Millicent Hurley’s Mrs. Ruddle offered spirited and hilarious performances.

If you enjoy clever mysteries peopled by freshly wacky characters deftly performed by a talented veteran cast, then Lifeline’s Busman’s Honeymoon is for you. This is a funny, sophisticated thriller and another outstanding turn from Peter Greenberg and Jenifer Tyler. The Winsey’s are most engaging.

Highly Recommended

Tom Williams

At Lifeline Theatre, 6912 N. Glenwood Ave., Chicago, IL, call 773-761-4477, tickets $30, $25 for seniors/students, Thursdays & Fridays at 7:30 pm, Saturdays at 4 & 8 pm, Sundays at4 pm, running time is 2 hours, 30 minutes with intermission, through July 26, 2009

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