Monday, 9 March 2020

REVIEW: Waiter, There’s a Murder in my Soup at Studio 5ive, Troubadour Wembley Park

A fine dining experience mixed with an immersive murder mystery, Waiter, There’s a Murder in my Soup is a musical farce set within the confines of Studio 5ive restaurant at the Troubadour Wembley Park. Once seated and our glasses filled, the performers begin to inhabit the space, gently interacting with each other and setting the stage for the concert of the Marchioness du Jour. The venue is busting with dignitaries, thespians and connoisseurs of the opera scene (that’s the part we’re playing) and we meet the Marchioness’ footman, the German trying desperately to pass as a Brit in post-war 1946. A scream. A shock. A cry. The Marchioness has been murdered and all six suspects are together in the room. There’s only one way to solve this, and in she bounds on her bicycle ready to crack the case; Detective Susan Gusset. 

After a few jaunty comedy tunes and an interview of each suspect the first delicious course is served. Between being fed each delicious course, we are fed more information about the murder, the suspects and their motives. Before each scene we are drawn back into the farce with a few 1940s classic songs before a peppy number brings the suspects back on to be interrogated by Gusset.

Each character was unique, and every actor engaged with us, effortlessly striking up conversation. With sufficiently over-the-top accents and farcical faces to match, the company really bought into the murder-mystery vibe and made the night both funny and exciting. A special mention must go to Declan Smith’s Anglo-Germanic Tommy Shakespeare who was an utter delight to watch perform and engaging in his interactions. The waiting staff also deserve a mention for their wonderful service and friendly attitudes, although the service could do with being streamlined slightly to leave less space between the end of a scene and the course being served.

Much of the action and some of our feasting was beautifully and brilliantly underscored on a delightful miniature grand piano which takes centre stage and featured simple but effective songs that help to drive the story. Francesca Fenech should be applauded for both her work at the piano and as a suspect. The downside of the restaurant layout, the underscoring and the exaggerated vocal work of the cast is that often diction and clarity was lost in the dialogue. This was somewhat rectified by Gusset’s evidential round-up at the end of each scene but struggling to hear dialogue can really pull an audience out of the action.

This really is a show to take the family too; there’s wonderful music, delectable food and cheeky inuendo mixed with wonderfully exaggerated characters. If you want to scrub up in your best 40s attire, test you detective skills and have a good time you have until 29th March.

Review by Max Topliss

Rating: ★★★★

Price of Ticket: £49.50
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