Setting the scene . . . Director Judith Bingham prepares the set for the Oamaru Repertory Theatre's latest production, Ravenscroft. PHOTO: RUBY HEYWARD


That will be the question posed to the Oamaru Repertory Theatre’s audience during its rendition of Ravenscroft, by Don Nigro.

Billed as a ‘‘Gothic comedy’’, the play follows the story of a detective called to Ravenscroft manor to uncover the culprit in a murder.

Director Judith Bingham said the detective had a hard task ahead of him as all his suspects were ‘‘telling lies and covering up for each other’’.

His suspects included the lady of the manor, her young daughter, the governess, housekeeper and maid.

‘‘It’s quite a challenge for him, but it’s quite funny,’’ Miss Bingham said.

Her favourite scene was when the housekeeper tried to strangle the maid, but there were plenty other comedic moments to look forward to.

‘‘I think it’s got something in it for everyone.’’

Since 2004, Miss Bingham has directed a play each year at the Oamaru Repertory Theatre, but said this production was very different from anything it had put on before.

Rather than rotating scenes and sets, the play would take place in the same setting and the actors would not leave the stage from start to finish.

‘‘But only one person is interviewed at a time.’’

By playwright Don Nigro’s design, the rest of the cast would remain shrouded in darkness at the back of the stage, entering the light only when it was their scene.

‘‘It’s very different. People won’t be used to seeing [actors] doing nothing, like little statues.’’

The play was intended to be produced without a set at all, but Miss Bingham had other ideas and the Oamaru stage was set as a manor’s parlour.

Evening shows start on November 18, and tickets are available from Rose’s General Store & Information in Tyne St.