Murder, She Didn't Write

A delightfully eccentric murder mystery is created within the hour as audience members choose the title, location, victim and murderer. A cast of six gives energetic, witty performances as they delve into the play full on. The night I was in the audience the title chosen at random was “The Case of the Icelandic Tree Surgeon” which was set in a swimming pool in Kirkcaldy. As you can see, the cast often have their work cut out for them.

The cast are all uniformly excellent and the scenes snap on at a quick pace.

They are clearly having as much fun as the audience, however, as they mischievously throw in further twists and subplots to keep their fellow cast members on their feet. What is commendable about the cast is that they listen to each other and every individual improvisation is picked up on and expanded upon. It’s a masterclass in improvisation that provides plenty of opportunity for big laughs and a continuous absurdity to the story. However, they do struggle slightly in the wrap up: having dug themselves deeper into a complex plot its visible that the cast are working overtime to find a conclusion.

Murder mysteries work best with a lot of audience interaction. This is something slightly overlooked in this production - opening it up for questions from the audience would be a welcome expansion. Also the show asks one audience member to choose the killer and the victim which in the end created a rather predictable mystery, despite the subplots that were developed within the tale.

The cast are all uniformly excellent and the scenes snap on at a quick pace. The use of live music from a pianist also builds up the tension and also seems a welcome aid to the actors. The show is becoming a bit of a sellout at the moment as it’s clear there are many returning audience members. This is a great concept for an improvised hour, and it’s performed by a vigorous, hilarious cast that fully deserve the success they are finding. 

Reviews by Stewart McLaren

Online at www.DavidLeddy.com (with Traverse Theatre)

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

A chance to pen that killer novel you've always dreamed of! You become the author in this original and hilarious improvised murder mystery play! Each night the actors use your suggestions to create a brand new nefarious case. Watch as the dramatic events you've helped create unfold live on stage! Move from novelist to amateur sleuth as you try to outwit the cast and each other! Will you guess whodunnit before the detective calls the suspects to the drawing room? 'Unrestrained bursts of joy' ***** (BristolTheatreReview.com). **** (ThreeWeeks). **** (FringeReview.co.uk).

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