Double Crossed

Whilst mildly fun, it is odd in this day and age to have any form of pro-police art. Mermaids Performing Arts Fund’s Double Crossed has solid pop-based songs that change the atmosphere from murky to provocative to overly dramatic. The musical does lack in some areas, but is overall enjoyable to watch.

A relatively enjoyable hour to be spent here

Following the escape of the notorious fraudster Sebastian Bianci (Joss Church), Inspector Langham (Oscar Cooper) finds himself disgraced. Whilst babysitting Inspector (in training) Morse (Matt Torrington), Langham teams up with Inspector Cora Lawson (Rachel Winterhalter) in order to solve the case of the missing town fund, and finds that there is more to the case than meets the eye. Whilst it is funny to see some local colour, the in-between moments featuring the villagers only work if there is more time to turn it into a running joke. Instead it feels like the time could have been better used elsewhere, for example, to develop the main plot and characters.

The songs are upbeat, and some of them have the potential to become show standards, like Ms International or It’s All About Me. Some of them, however, just lack finesse. And even in the structurally solid ones, it doesn’t appear like the melody fits the accompaniment. The cast sing without mics and whilst most of them are able to project well enough, unfortunately this means that occasionally can’t hear them. This is particularly a problem when Winterhalter sings. She has a thin, breathy voice, most likely due to the fact that she just doesn’t open her mouth enough to create the space needed for a proper sound. She also has a lot of tension at the corners of her mouth which would normally work for the vocal technique that she is using, but for some reason doesn't. Not everyone can belt at the top of their range, and the fact that she appears to be singing at a higher range than her abilities allow her to belt, does compromise the volume and quality of the voice. The character herself is flawed and just seems weak and uninteresting, as though her only purpose is to be a potnetial love interest. As Morse, Torkington is incredibly irritating, but it is quite fun to see this 'pretty but dumb' archetype go about his merry way. A strong performer, this pseudo-suave character is perhaps the best thought through of the cast, despite the character’s natural lack of it. Church appears relatively cat-like and sinister. He is amazingly grumpy and immoral, but in his final appearance, he only seems like a shadow of the narrator we’ve built him up to be.

This show has bones but obvious flaws that need to be teased out. A relatively enjoyable hour to be spent here.

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Reviews by Katerina Partolina Schwartz

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The Blurb

Double Crossed is a brand new, student-written musical that premiered in St Andrews and is now making its debut here at the Fringe. The fast-paced and comedic story full of catchy and energetic original music follows retired police officer Inspector Langham and his junior partner Morse as they travel to a rural village in Wales, full of eccentric characters, to solve the case of the missing town fund, which quickly derails into something far bigger. Joining forces with local officer Lawson, can the London detectives solve the case before Langham’s past catches up with them?

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