It’s Come Dine With Me with a twist, and that twist is murder because apparently that’s what it takes to spice up a dinner party these days. Happy Sad Production’s Come Die With Me is a musical murder mystery that slowly descends into a vague parody with a plot that hangs on by a loose thread.
A fun pun and nod to the TV show but its comedic potential depreciates quickly
Set during the filming of the reality show Come Dine With Me, five contestants host dinner parties in their houses in order to win a grand prize. When one of the dinner guests is found dead, the contestants race to find whodunnit.
This show quickly works through all of the Come Dine With Me tropes from the interviews, voting, drama, and contestant stereotypes that we’re familiar with. Up until the murder itself, the show is very comic as we meet the larger than life characters who settle in the familiar routine of the TV show, but the recreation of these tropes are relegated pretty much to the first half of the show. After that, the plotline descends into a very vague ‘catch-all’ set of scenarios, designed to give everyone motive and give us the opportunity to vote on who we think the murderer is. This means that the ending will change with every viewing, but it really seems like the flimsiest of connections and motives are being established in order to make this show work. The songs themselves have quirky lyrics and are performed to an extremely high standard by the cast, to the point of completely rousing the audience. This is best exemplified by the opening number, Welcome In, that is a slick, witty performance that introduces us to the characters themselves as well as the emerging conflicts between them, whilst communicating a biting humour that gradually decreases as the show itself progresses.
All of the characters have very big personalities and shoes that the cast fill with ease. Andrew Lodge in particular performs his roles in such a way that he literally extends his character's personalities from the stage. His over the top performance is incredibly humorous to watch as he personifies the ‘go big or go home’ mindset.
Come Die With Me is an altogether flimsy parody; a fun pun and nod to the TV show but its comedic potential depreciates quickly.