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“Sleuth” Is a Perfect Mix of Mystery, Mayhem, and Comedy

"Sleuth" stars Jesse R. Gephart (seated) and Michael Brocki (photo by Curtis Brown Photography)

“Sleuth” stars Jesse R. Gephart (seated) and Michael Brocki (photo by Curtis Brown Photography)

For anyone who loves lots of plot twists and a healthy dose of comedy, Anthony Shaffer’s Sleuth is an excellent choice. Theatre Raleigh’s production, as part of its Hot Summer Nights Series, features two of the Triangle’s most gifted actors- Michael Brocki and Jesse Gephart– and also benefits from precise direction by John McIlwee and a to-die-for set by Chris Bernier.

Here, Brocki plays Andrew Wyke, a mystery writer who loves puzzles and games of all types- including games that involve people and their emotions. The story takes place in his home- brought to life by an intricate, rustic, and highly detailed set- and begins when he invites Milo Tindle (Gephart), his wife’s lover, over for what appears to be a late night chat but that, instead, turns into a battle of wits that quickly spirals out of control. Tindle, no stranger to manipulation himself, and Wyke play a series of crazy and unpredictable games with each other as the show progresses. These games end up requiring Gephart to slip effortlessly in and out of three other character roles, which he nails.

Mixing comedy and suspense, the script is fun and fast-paced. While it does show its age (the play was originally written in 1970) from time to time and while the dialogue can sometimes be so dense as to be confusing (the English accents, while well done, don’t help with comprehension), this production is, overall, a lot of fun and a perfect pick for one of these rainy, spooky nights we’ve been having as of late.

Theatre Raleigh presents SLEUTH at 8 p.m. Aug. 12-14, 2 and 8 p.m. Aug. 15, and 3 p.m. Aug. 16 in the Sara Lynn and K.D. Kennedy, Jr. Theater in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, 2 E. South St., Raleigh, North Carolina 27601.

TICKETS: $27 ($25 students, seniors 65+, and active-duty military personnel).

BOX OFFICE: 866-811-4111,, or

GROUP RATES (10+ tickets): 919-832-9997 or






NOTE: Theatre Raleigh rates this show R (due to adult subject matter and language).


Sleuth (1970 West End and Broadway play): (Samuel French), (Internet Broadway Database), and (Wikipedia).

Script: (Google Books).

Anthony Shaffer (English playwright and screenwriter, 1926-2001): (The Life & Work of Anthony Shaffer), (Internet Broadway Database), and (Wikipedia).


Susie Potter is a Raleigh, NC-based freelance writer and editor. She is a 2009 graduate of Raleigh’s Meredith College, where she majored in English. She holds graduate degrees in teaching and American literature from North Carolina State University in Raleigh. In addition to her work for Triangle Arts and Entertainment, she is an award-winning author of short fiction. Her works have appeared in The Colton Review, Raleigh Quarterly, Broken Plate Magazine, Big Muddy: A Journal of the Mississippi River Valley, the Chaffey Review, and Existere. To read all of Susie Potter’s Triangle Arts and Entertainment articles and reviews, click To read more of her writings, click and

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Categorised in: A&E Theatre Reviews, Lead Story, Reviews