TIM Diamond is haplessly hopeless as a private detective but luckily for him he has a smarter younger brother, called Nick, who solves the mystery behind The Falcon’s Malteser, in Anthony Horowitz’s comic play at The Pleasance.
Adapted from Horowitz’s children’s book of the same name, the play came about after Feargus Woods Dunlop, who plays Tim Diamond, had read the novel and he and wife, Heather, approached Horowitz to discuss adapting the book for stage.
Horowitz recalls, “For some reason, our first meeting was in a tea shop in Bath.
“They asked me if they could do a stage adaptation and I really liked their enthusiasm and their sense of humour, so I said yes.
“Very little of my work has been adapted so far and I have to say I rather like it. When I saw The Falcon’s Malteser, for example, I found myself laughing at the jokes and only realised later that I’d written them myself.
“But it was actually the new material that Feargus and Heather added that most impressed me. This is such a nifty little show, an hour of pleasure.”
The author, perhaps more widely known for his teenage spy Alex Rider novels, Foyle’s War, Sherlock Holmes and more recently, James Bond, continues, “They do it extremely well in the style of The 39 Steps. It’s great how simple costume changes, a few props and different accents can add up to so many unlikely characters.’
The Falcon’s Malteser begins when a three foot tall Mexican called Johnny Naples, played by Dan Winter, in one of several roles, hires Tim Diamond.
Described as the world’s worst detective, fortunately his 13-year-old brother Nick (Tim Medcalf) is there to help, to look after a box of Maltesers.
Very quickly the Diamond Brothers find themselves up against gangsters and hitmen. Despite being only an hour long it doesn’t lose any of the comedy in the book.
Director Lee Lyford gets the best out his cast of four who play 20 different characters between them.
Dunlop first read The Falcon’s Malteser for a school summer camp, the comedy appealed to him enough to make him think it would make a great play.
He says, ‘I couldn’t help laughing out loud when I read the book. The story is absorbing and funny, and of course it is fun to try and solve the case before Nick does.
“The jokes and Tim’s stupidity made me laugh. Apparently, I’m exactly how Anthony Horowitz imagined Tim to be. I’m not sure if that’s good, though.”
The Falcon’s Malteser, Pleasance Courtyard, until 31 August, 2pm, £10-£11, 0131-226 0000