Enigmatic thriller playing at Village

David Pichette performs in the play 'Sleuth' by Anthony Shaffer at The Village Theatre. His performance carried the show.

David Pichette performs in the play 'Sleuth' by Anthony Shaffer at The Village Theatre. His performance carried the show.

While the brilliance of “Sleuth,” Village Theatre’s newest production, was in the craftiness of the plot, there couldn’t have been a better delivery of the lines.

Local actor David Pichette, who plays Andrew Wyke, carried the first half of the show with enigmatic enthusiasm and strong British accent.

Pichette keeps audience members laughing with Wyke’s bawdy humor, while key parts of the layered plot begin to unfold.

“Sleuth,” by Anthony Shaffer, is a 1970s British thriller. Village chooses one play each season, but it’s typically a comedy.

“Sleuth” opened in Britain, and quickly moved in Broadway. It was also made into a film in 1972, and then remade less successfully in 2007.

The play runs in Issaquah through February, before moving up to Everett.

“Sleuth” tells the story of mystery writer Wyke, who invites the younger Milo Tindle, played by M.J. Seiber, to his elegant country home after discovering Tindle is having an affair with his wife.

Wyke proposes an idea to help Tindle raise money for the expensive affair, which begins a game of cat and mouse.

The story is a mix of ridiculous plotting and serious power grabs that keep the audience amused and thinking.

The twists are so surprising, Village requested the media not reveal the full plot of the play for the enjoyment of future audiences.

Village selected a top-notch crew for the performance, including Director Martin Charnin, the lyricist for “Annie.”

Like a magician, Charnin keeps the audience looking at one hand while he plays a trick with the other.

The characters are reflected well in a set full of tinker toys and puzzles. A grandiose bookshelf and antique typewriter give a scholarly feel. You’ll need your brains to keep up with this plot.

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