Written on August 3rd, 2004


Written by Rupert Holmes
Directed by Joel Froomkin
Performed by Sean Clement, Heather Hodgson, Brian McKay, Andy Pogson, Nora Sheehan
Victoria Playhouse Petrolia
August 3 to 21, 2004
Reviewed by Mary Alderson

Twists and turns keep plot interesting

 If you enjoy a good murder mystery with lots of twists in the plots, great deceptions, and a surprise ending, you’ll like “Thumbs”, which opened August 4 at Victoria Playhouse Petrolia.

I can’t even attempt to give a synopsis of the plot, for fear of giving away some of the mystery. It starts with a rather unpleasant diva, Marta, – she’s a the star of a TV series with a very inflated ego, who leaves her home in Malibu to visit her ex-husband, Freddie, at his secluded cabin in snowy Vermont. He, too, is not a nice fellow and it soon becomes obvious that one will kill the other – I’m not telling which!

Add a female sheriff, her moronic deputy, and the TV star’s boyfriend, and the plot takes off. Oh, yes, there’s also a serial killer in the area, one who chops off the thumbs of his victims!

Nora Sheehan shines as Sheriff Jane Morton. She skilfully plays a Columbo-like character – we find out she’s not as stupid as she first seems. And then there’s Andy Pogson as Wilton, the sheriff’s helper, who steals the scene as a bumbling idiot with a wonderful New England accent. Sean Clement is excellent as Todd, the boyfriend. Again, with Todd, not all is as it seems. Heather Hodgson plays Marta, the TV star and her ex-husband, Freddie, is played by Brian McKay.

There are some interesting flashback scenes, featuring two characters who do a good job in helping unravel the plot. But we aren’t told who these actors are in the program.

Credit for the excellent set goes to Jeff Johnston Collins. He turned the stage into wonderful Vermont chalet in the woods, with post and beam construction, a stone fireplace and the requisite moose antlers on display.

“Thumbs” is cleverly written by Rupert Holmes, with very cunning and conniving characters. There are enough laughs to make it fun, and the real challenge is keeping track of all the lies and liars. If you like to try to get ahead of the plot and unravel the mystery, you’ll love “Thumbs”. Don’t bring small children, though, as some of the jokes and innuendo may not be appropriate.

“Thumbs” continues with eight shows a week at Victoria Playhouse Petrolia until August 21. Call the box office at 1-800-717-7694 or (519) 882-1221 for tickets.

Leave a Reply