Murder, She Didn't Write: The Improvised Murder Mystery

A murder has been committed. But the detective can’t remember who died, who is the murderer or where it happened. That’s where the audience comes in. Murder, She Didn’t Write by Degrees Of Error has an excellent concept. One that takes suggestions from the audience but does not let them rule the evening.

Murder, She Didn’t Write is a pacy, funny, unpredictable hour.

The premise is simple. Someone has died at an event to be decided and with a weapon to be decided. The audience becomes the author in a never before seen murder mystery, that plays out before your very eyes. Jerkins (a member of the audience) is the Lieutenant’s assistant, and the audience’s suggestions are channelled through him, which makes proceedings flow better than in other improv shows.

The cast is very tight and clearly have worked with each other for a while. There is an element of play that comes across very well, and the audience is let in on the play too. Mistakes are sometimes glossed over in improv shows, yet there can be so much fun when the mistakes are picked up and turned into a game. Here that happens in abundance, aided by the detective picking up on any mistakes and encouraging the actors to run with it. Turning right instead of left becomes a character who struggles with directions, and that adds so much fun to a scene. Nothing is glossed over which definitely allows the audience in on the joke too.

It is a strong company, with excellent improvised musical accompaniment. The lighting operative clearly has a strong sense of timing and humour as some of the blackouts were in spectacularly good places. The lighting cues were often the punchline of the joke.

Murder, She Didn’t Write is a pacy, funny, unpredictable hour. It may not be laugh a minute, improvisation often isn’t, but remember, these guys are making this up on the spot. Plus, their improvised puns are something else. 

Reviews by Emily Jane Kerr

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Performances

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The Blurb

A classic murder mystery is created on the spot in this ingenious and hilarious show from Bristol Improv Theatre's resident company. Miss Crimson poisoned in the parlour? Mr Gold exploded by cannon in Sainsbury's? You decide! But will you guess whodunnit? And for your Sunday night entertainment, don’t forget our additional late night shows! ***** (InterMissionBristol.co.uk). ***** (BristolTheatreReview.com). **** (ThreeWeeks). **** (EdFringeReview.com). **** (BroadwayBaby.com). 'One of the best, most accomplished and polished improvised groups I have seen for a very long time – and I am very, very old’ (FringeReview.co.uk).

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