Thursday, April 27, 2006

"Mysterious, Mesmerising, Melissa"

Here's a review for Melissa from IAfrica
After the tragic death of his wife in a car accident, dashing war corespondent Guy Foster (Tim Dutton) decides to leave Cape Town after several years in South Africa and return home to England, travelling by sea. On board he meets the mysterious and mesmerising publicist Melissa and falls head over heels in love with her.

Melissa's group of exuberant friends are professional party people: Graeme (Adrian Dunbar - Cracker), a showbiz agent whose business is not what it used to be; Paula (Julie Walters) his wife and Melissa's business partner; Stevie (Clarence Smith), a homosexual singer; Les (Christopher Ryan), a has-been comedian and Hope (Diana Weston), a once famous singer and impersonator who has turned to alcohol as her career faded - all clients of Graeme's. And back home waits Don (Gary Cady), a racing driver and Melissa's former lover, who is insanely jealous of her new relationship.

Guy and Melissa's whirlwind romance sets the stage for a mystery detective story from the pen of the great British writer Alan Bleasdale (Jake's Progress), who takes his inspiration from a Sixties thriller penned by Francis Durbridge. Bleasdale has created a gallery of richly-drawn contemporary characters in a story of baffling crimes, wild passion and unexpected twists.

While Guy celebrates his love and good fortune, he is unaware of the nightmarish chain of events in which he will soon find himself caught up. During the first night of the voyage an elderly widower is far from accidentally lost overboard. Back in Cape Town the police discover the bodies of a murdered middle-aged couple. Before long death claims another victim except this time the murder is closer to home. For Detectives Cameron and Kilshaw, this brutal murder marks the beginning of a hunt to find the extraordinary and elusive murderer.

Jennifer Ehle, who is the bewitching Melissa, has worked in television as Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice, as Calypso in 7he Camomile Lawn and with Glenn Close in the feature film Paradise Road as well as Wilde, in which she plays Constance to Stephen Fry's Oscar. Playing opposite her, Tim Dutton's feature film credits Include Death on Everest, Tom and Viv and Patriot Games.

Julie Walters, whom SABC 3 viewers will remember as the mother in Jake's Progress, needs no introduction. Her Paula is "a terrific character: loud, boozy and outrageous". Bill Paterson (Oliver's Travels, The Crow Road) and Michael Angelis play the sardonic detective and his dry sidekick.

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