Father Brown comes to town

Touch of Frost actor, John Lyons, and the cast from the Father Brown whodunnit ‘Murderer in the Mirror’ popped into Sandown Library to talk about the play, meet local residents and help launch events for the 2022 Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

‘Murderer in the Mirror’ is a Father Brown mystery, written by John Goodrum, and starring John Lyons, Karen Henson, Natalie Griffin, Chris Brookes and David Gillbrook; with the plot seeing Father Brown, played by John Lyon, being invited to a dress rehearsal of a West End show, when two shots are fired and a shattered mirror is discovered in a dressing room.

John said: “There has been a lot of interest in the play, with Father Brown being on TV, and we are delighted to be at Shanklin Theatre for a run of performances, and many of the cast have fond memories of visits to the Island.”

“I’ve had a fortunate and varied career, working with actors of the calibre of David Jason in Frost, and I’ve really enjoyed working with this cast on stage – it’s good to see new talent coming through.”

Upstairs Downstairs, The Sweeney, On The Buses, and George and Mildred are just some of the other shows that John has featured in, and stories from his career are included in his autobiography ‘Not Just George’, with a donated signed copy available in Sandown Library.

Members of the cast read extracts from the Bay CE Primary School students’ project on Accession Day, when Princess Elizabeth acceded to the throne, as part of Sandown’s Platinum Jubilee events.


Murderer in the Mirror – review

With more than 700 Shanklin Theatre audience members watching the Father Brown mystery, Murderer In The Mirror, no-one left disappointed by the subtlety of the plot, thoughtful twists, and creative casting. John Lyons, from TV’s Touch of Frost, was following in the priestly footsteps of Alec Guiness, Kenneth More and, more recently, Mark Williams on TV.

John Goodrum wrote an original script set in 1927, and also starred as Mundon Mandeville, with Karen Henson playing his wife, with Natalie Griffin and Christopher Brookes being names to remember for the future.

John Lyons’ Father Brown is a compelling and contemplative character, who uses asides to the audience to set the scenes, give depth to the play, and also add a dimension that TV and film productions can’t. Live theatre is returning after Covid, and this play, delayed in reaching Shanklin, was well worth the wait, and Father Brown would be welcomed back in the future.