Two actors, a piano and a swath of archetypical crime fiction characters; sounds relatively predictable, but predictable is one thing that Murder for Two is not! If you’re in need of a laugh then look no further.
Directed by Luke Sheppard and currently playing at The Other Palace Theatre, Murder for Two is Mel Brooks’ The Producers meets an Agatha Christie Whodunnit – and it’s absolutely incredible!
The show starts, as all good crime fictions do, with a murder. A famous novelist has been killed during his own birthday party and it would seem that each and every guest has a motive. Officer Marcus is a neighbourhood police officer who dreams of becoming a detective. To prove himself, all he needs to do is examine the facts, interrogate the witnesses and solve the crime before the real detective arrives – simple right?
Throughout the course of the production, we are introduced to no less than 13 characters, all of whom are portrayed by the two actors – with the help at one point from an obliging umbrella wearing a hat! While Murder for Two is a musical, you won’t find an orchestra or accompanying band lurking anywhere nearby. Not only do the cast of two play 13 roles, they also provide their own musical accompaniment – think ragtime piano. Playing individually and in unison, both performers demonstrate a musical finesse that is reason alone to see the production!
The focus and technical skill of Jeremy Legat and Ed MacArthur is unrivalled, their synchronicity and chemistry on stage is exceptional and the way in which they flawlessly swap and change between the stage and the piano stool without dropping a chord leaves you in awe. Jeremy Legat carries the lion’s share of roles, swapping seamlessly between beguiling ballerina, questionable phycologist and unhinged ex-wife just to name a few. The conviction in his portrayal and the sincerity with which he delivers this plethora of personalities is mindboggling, resulting in a truly encapsulating performance! Ed Macarthur has the equally difficult task of anchoring the narrative, providing a consistent presence on stage and creating momentum, which he does in a seemingly effortless fashion. The two are perfectly paired and the result is a fast-paced, high intensity, cavalcade of mystery and mayhem.
A farce by nature, the production pays homage to the detective dramas of the 40s, however, the steely expressions of Bogie and Bacall are nowhere to be seen in this side-splitting piece. Ensuring the comedic potential of the piece is recognised, both performers have impeccable timing in their delivery. This is further complemented by a diverse soundscape and compilation of audio effects, delivered with faultless precision.
As absurd as it is brilliant, Murder for Two is a side-splitting comedy brimming with the perfect mix of outrageous wit and cheap laughs. The unrivalled skill of the performers, supported by an exceptional crew and creative team, results in a night at the theatre like no other. While at times you are laughing in spite of yourself, the point remains, you will laugh!
Review by Cassandra Griffin
MURDER FOR TWO
A hilarious high-energy musical whodunit, Murder For Two is a madcap murder mystery with a twist. Two actors play thirteen characters…and the piano in this acclaimed new musical. A loving homage to the canon of murder mystery plays, Murder For Two is a hysterical blend of music, mayhem and murder.
When famous novelist Arthur Whitney is found dead at his birthday party, it’s time to call in the detectives. The only problem is, they’re out of town. Enter Officer Marcus Moscowicz, a neighbourhood cop who dreams of climbing the ranks. With the clock ticking, it’s up to Marcus to prove his super sleuthing skills and solve the crime before the real detective arrives.
Murder For Two was recently a huge hit Off-Broadway. The production will have its British stage premiere at The Watermill Theatre prior to it run at The Other Palace, London. It will be directed by Luke Sheppard and produced by The Other Palace’s Artistic Director Paul Taylor-Mills- the duo behind the Olivier award-winning musical In The Heights.
Murder For Two
A Watermill Theatre production in association with Paul Taylor-Mills
Book and music by Joe Kinosian Book and lyrics by Kellen Blair
2nd – 18th March 2017