LoveHard: Murdered by Murder

LoveHard return to the Fringe after their award-winning 2016 show House On The Hill with a new comic offering that is literally the best of both the theatre and comedy worlds. A show unparalleled in comedy writing and delivery, the question only remains – what can’t they do?

They pull apart and mock every convention of the genre and scarcely miss a chance for some word play, or a twist and turn or a piece of physical comedy.

Every now and again you will dig up one of these hidden gems, the sort of show that makes you excited about the Fringe again. With so many big names playing big venues getting big cheers it feels like the “Fringey” fare, or at least anything that is worth watching, is harder and harder to find. But in a little room past Waverley station you will find such a gem. Word has spread about LoveHard who have packed their room out to the gills, with punters squatting down on every surface available; from the bar tops to the floor and crammed into every corner.

Written and performed by comedy-duo Jacob Lovick and Tyler Harding, Murdered By Murder tells the tale of a party of eccentric characters who find themselves at Lord Titan’s manor one Christmas Eve for a game of murder mystery, when suddenly the game becomes reality and one of their number is found dead in the (fourth) kitchen. I shan’t give away any more plot points, as it would ruin the fun.

All-in-all I counted ten characters deftly executed by the duo who multirole with such fluidity it honestly sometimes feels like you are watching a TV show. Their characterisation is masterful. They themselves take a crack early on at the liberal servings of stereotypes bandied about but it is played perfectly, creating such despicable characters you just can’t tear your eyes away from the action. Not to mention that the two comics move so swiftly between the parts with a subtle, verbal “whoosh” that blink and you will certainly miss it.

Not a word is wasted in this piece, it seems every line was written and rewritten to get the maximum dosage of humour possible. They pull apart and mock every convention of the genre and scarcely miss a chance for some word play, or a twist and turn or a piece of physical comedy.

Lovick and Harding don’t seem to take themselves, or their show, too seriously. As with House On The Hill they routinely break character to comment on the confinements of working in a space set up to drink, not perform a play. They take stabs at each other and critique each other’s improvised jokes mid-show. Lovick’s continued exasperations at one of Harding’s running gags achieved particular roars of laughter from the audience. Often these sorts of breaks and corpses can seem self-indulgent, but with LoveHard it’s all part of the treat that is their show.

As part of the Free Fringe Festival you’ll pay whatever you think it is worth; with this in mind you would be mad not to catch it. A pastiche of a pastiche, I’m not sure you’ll find anything quite like it.

Reviews by Millie Bayswater

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The Blurb

1934, Devon. Six old friends. A small get together at Lord and Lady Titan's household, Drenchblood Heights. A murder mystery party. It promises to be the night of their lives, by which we mean the night of their, er, deaths. Barely unscathed by their award-winning run of The House on the Hill, the duo LoveHard are returning with this brand new show. Featuring a live score from Nick Charlesworth. Best Show finalists (Barry Awards, Edinburgh 2016). Free Theatre Award 2016 winners (, Brighton Fringe 2016). **** (, 2016). **** (, 2016).