Why was he invited?

ANTHONY Shaffer’s dark psychological thriller, Sleuth, widely regarded as his masterpiece, comes to Bath Theatre Royal from 12th to 17th February, in a new production, directed by Rachel Kavanaugh, and starring Todd Boyce and Neil McDermott.

Milo Tindle (McDermott) arrives at the impressive home of a famous mystery writer, Andrew Wyke (Boyce), only to be unwittingly drawn into a tangled web of intrigue and gamesmanship, where nothing is quite as it seems. Far more than a ‘whodunnit’, this “thriller about thrillers”’ promises to baffle even the most proficient sleuth and makes for an intriguing study of human conflict, jealousy and manipulation.

Todd Boyce, best-known as the notorious baddie Stephen Reid in Coronation Street, swaps the cobbles for an elegant country house as the hugely successful crime writer who has invited a younger man to visit him. Boyce’s other television credits include The Crown, Sherlock, Mr Selfridge and Spooks. On stage he has appeared in The Exorcist, Midnight Cowboy, Hamlet at the Young Vic, and in Australia.

Another veteran of a favourite soap, Neil McDermott has been Ryan Malloy in East Enders since 2009. He returns to Bath Theatre Royal after playing the prince in Sleeping Beauty last Christmas and the husband in Home I’m Darling earlier in the year. His other screen credits include Doctor Who and Inspector George Gently. Other leading roles on stage have included Pretty Woman, The Sound of Music, Shrek The Musical, and with Sir Ian McKellen and Roger Allam in Aladdin.

Director Rachel Kavanaugh was artistic director and joint CEO of Birmingham Repertory Theatre from 2006 to 2011. She directed a box office record-breaking adaptation of A Christmas Carol at the Royal Shakespeare Company, Shadowlands starring Hugh Bonneville at Chichester Festival Theatre and Half a Sixpence, which transferred to the West End winning multiple awards and The Taming of the Shrew starring Sheridan Smith at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre.