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Friday, 14 December 2018

REVIEW: Murder For Two at The Other Palace (Studio)

Murder For Two claims its inspiration is part Marx Brothers and part Agatha Christie. There’s also a hefty dose of Broadway pastiche thrown in, a sub genre in its own right of which there are an increasing number of examples.

The story concerns a classic country house murder mystery. The subject of a surprise birthday party gets a different sort of surprise as he is shot dead on arrival. But by whom? All the suspects are played by Jeremy Legat, running around the set, grabbing props as he goes, to become anything from a ballerina to a choir of three nine year old boys. Ed MacArthur is the detective, desperately trying to corral all these characters so he can follow his protocol for solving the case and show his boss he’s ready for promotion. 

In a breathtaking display of energy and skill the pair also play the piano, sing and dance, for this is a musical. And although it’s on a small scale – the two actors are the entire cast and band – it has the style and panache of a full-scale Broadway show. Knowing nods and winks to various Broadway tropes are heavily signposted with references to doing ‘my big number’ and ‘the friendship song’. It’s all huge fun and the musical numbers are tuneful and even catchy.
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