The Argus: fringe_2011_logo_red_thumbThe title was a play on words – four being the number in the cast. Just four actors were required to portray 17 characters, a feat that involved over 120 costume changes.

If that was not enough they had to be prepared to act out one of four endings chosen by the audience on the night.

The script was very funny and a skilful piece of writing in its construction with precision timing that allowed the character changes to flow almost seamlessly.

What resulted was a frantic farce, with many moments of inspired lunacy sending up the genre of the country house mystery murder with its gamut of stock characters.

There was plenty of clever word play, as well as puns and in-jokes revolving around the size of the cast and need to get off stage to change roles.

Sam Anderson, Sarah Charsley, Phillip Hill and Frank Leon worked their socks off as the pace quickened and events gradually got out of hand.

Not only were their skills successfully tested in switching roles but they also demonstrated a talent for ad-libbing in covering the occasional gaffe.

Writer and director Andrew Allen has created a fine show, albeit overlong, that can become a great one with judicious cutting.