MURDER MYSTERY MUSICAL

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MURDER MYSTERY MUSICAL

Postby Barry » Sun Aug 09, 2009 4:30 pm

MURDER MYSTERY MUSICAL
well here's the first review.......not bad really.

Posted by Frank Lazarski, Sun 09 Aug 2009

Murder Mystery Musical is a distinctly British affair. It tells the story of Morgan Tremain, a deceased pop impresario who summons his extended family (a host of saucy, buxom women, an estranged brother and an agent) to an exotic island outpost for his funeral. There, a vicious murderer with a taste for camp killings wreaks havoc on the greedy, fearful mourners. Whodunnit? The sex hungry gossip columnist? Or the silent, postcolonial manservant? As the possible culprits decrease in number, the atmosphere becomes tense and poisonous. The fabulous show tunes, however, keep on coming.

The show’s production team is made up of some of the heavy hitters of musical theatre. Shaun McKenna’s name precedes him, having been behind the scripts for Ben Hur Live and Lord of the Rings. Barry Purves, who worked with Tim Burton on Mars Attacks!, has designed a visually effective stage, using little space and subtle touches to great effect. Furthermore, the cast, on the whole, are superb.

What makes the show worthwhile is the presence of a plotline which, often, is more engaging than the songs which pepper it. Intrigue exists throughout, and the arrival of the charming private detective, Gaston Lemon, adds to the aura of suspense. The tunes are generally pleasant, with the pop star Natalie La Belle’s rendition of her hit ‘Breathless’ as a stand-out moment of pure camp. In general, this is a fine performance of a new musical. Think of it as a tragic story of Island life - a sexed-up South Pacific
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Re: MURDER MYSTERY MUSICAL

Postby Barry » Thu Aug 13, 2009 11:17 pm

and another, from the Festival paper, Three Weeks. This is a good oen and there have been lots of great comments on various personal blogs, but one terrible one from a guy who walked out, and mentioned the 'punch and judy set'. I wonder if the audiences realise the restraints of the Fringe, with the budget, the quick turn around, the nine foot van, the lack of storage and such. But I'm happy with the one below.

Murder Mystery Musical
Andy Jordan Productions
This loathsome yet lovable array of showbiz egos and eccentrics, stranded on a private island and being threatened by a killer, will have the audience roaring and rolling in the aisles. With more Freudian slips than an eel overdosing on Viagra, and an outstanding cast delivering riveting performances - in particular Rebecca Bainbridge as the over-attentive and gawky Lauren, and Gina Murray as a ruthless and vampy reporter - this is a sure winner. An experienced and professional team adapt marvellously to the minimalism of the Fringe as actors often double as musicians, and the simplistic set is used with much pomp and good humour. Hilarious and wonderfully polished, 'Murder Mystery Musical' never misses a gag, and leaves the audience humming and skipping away delightedly.
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Re: MURDER MYSTERY MUSICAL

Postby Barry » Fri Aug 14, 2009 12:14 pm

and one by mIchael Coveney

This witty short musical is a collaboration between Lord of the Rings and Lautrec lyricist/librettist Shaun McKenna, former kids’ television lyricist Alister Cameron and an RSC musical director, composer Richard Brown.

The enterprise reeks of competence and is smartly directed by actor Ben Keaton on a toy theatre-style design by Oscar nominee Barry Purves.

It’s a spoof Agatha Christie whodunnit set on the private island of recently deceased pop impresario and television pundit Morgan Tremain.

His friends and family are marooned after the funeral: an Aussie bimbo who left him for Simon Cowell; his wife who’s playing away; his kid brother, a resentful eco-warrior who does a soft shoe shuffle in flip flops; and a gossip columnist in a jewelled eye-patch who bitches for England.

Everyone has a motive form Morgan’s murder, and one by one they are picked off in gruesome executions. One gets a lance in the eye, another death by electric toaster in the swimming pool (the painted front cloth opens for divers to go through), one is strangled on a washing line.

It’s well worked out but never really takes off. There are some delicious touches, though, and the sub-Poirot detective, Gaston Lemon (Sevan Stephan, McKenna’s little Lautrec), a private dick with a Belgian bulge, arrives in a diving suit and huge green flippers.

The cast is uniformly excellent, and the show would be ideal for the King’s Head in a slow season (that’ll be all year round, then).

- Michael Coveney
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Re: MURDER MYSTERY MUSICAL

Postby Barry » Mon Aug 17, 2009 3:59 pm

and one from broadwaybaby.com
Good Old Days with Murderous Intent
0 of 0 people found the following review helpful
Set on the private island of recently deceased music mogul Morgan Tremain, where all the people he had a grudge with in his life have been assembled for the reading of his will, Murder Mystery Musical could best be described as a bit of a melodramatic romp.

On reading the will, and – predictably – it’s Morgan’s own voice from beyond the grave, we discover that he plans to leave his substantial fortune to just one of them; and it’s the last man standing that gets the loot, since all others will die.

The larger-than-life characters are forgivably stereotypical – for this is more Panto than Pinter. There’s a deliberate Old Time Music Hall feel to the show which lets it get away with the corniest of jokes and sauciest of lyrics. And once you realise that you’re at the end of the pier, the whole thing gets very easy to enjoy.

First to be bumped off is photographer Jasper, who was probably as surprised as I was to find having your eye out could be terminal. The remaining players are dispatched one-by-one using methods that match the song titles of Morgan’s number one hits. Private Dick Gaston Lemon, who has a bizarre Irish-Belgian accent that would make Poirot wince, is the clueless comic relief who washes up on this scene and attempts to solve the puzzle.

Ok, so the script is clumsy at times and the plot is as deep as a puddle, but as a whole the show just sort of works. You get into the swing of it and realise you’re wearing a broad grin at all the superficial loveliness of it all. High brow it is not, but for entertainment it certainly delivers. Rating: 4.0

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Reviewed by Pete Shaw
August 16, 2009
Top 10 Reviewer

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Re: MURDER MYSTERY MUSICAL

Postby Barry » Thu Aug 20, 2009 9:36 am

And another from allthefestivals.com

Murder Mystery Musical
George Square Theatre
Edinburgh Fringe Festival

***** 5 STARS

‘There are no flies on Gaston Lemon’, and indeed not on this performance either.

Setting up a faux proscenium arch on the stage, complete with red velvet curtains, it reminded me of a Baz Luhrmann film, ultra-camp with a weird accordion player. This emphasises the point that we are watching a performance, it is not reality therefore do not expect realistic character portrayals and is also symbolic of the facade the killer has to create in hiding their identity.

‘Murder Mystery’ is performed by a clearly talented cast, many doubling up to become musicians, perform gymnastic routines or tap dance…in flip flops.

Voiceover is used in the opening to the show, setting the scene, introducing the characters and creating an instant rapport with the audience through jovial slants which initiates the undemanding humour of the show. The script is sprinkled with little asides to the audience throughout, breaking down the fourth wall which is key to maintaining our relationship and strengthening our interest.

It has that untouchable ‘Carry On film’ humour, full of double entendre, slapstick and sexual innuendo, but true to British form it never over steps the mark into the realms of crassness. Although it is incredibly silly, one shouldn’t degrade the performance as it is an extremely acute skill to get farce right and not convey it as simply melodramatic tripe.

‘Murder Mystery’ is such good fun and easy to watch, and is filled to the brim with good old fashioned folly, and on basic principle it actually works as a murder mystery too and leaves you guessing until the end.

Reviewed by: Katie Gadsby
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Re: MURDER MYSTERY MUSICAL

Postby Barry » Tue Aug 25, 2009 1:33 pm

a collection of the best bits.......
Andy Jordan and the Murder Mystery Musical Company


Edinburgh Festival Reviews for MURDER MYSTERY MUSICAL

4 and 5 star reviews in Three Weeks, The Herald, One4Review, AllThe
Festivals.com, Fringe Review, Broadway Baby…….

Please read on….

‘Hilarious and wonderfully polished…had the audience roaring and
rolling in the aisles…An outstanding cast...riveting performances…This
is a sure winner.’ Three Weeks * * * * *

‘…a superbly talented cast…. a brilliant lib and score combine to
create a rollicking good show which will surely gather a cult
following. I can see audience members coming dressed as their personal
favourite character.…move down to George 4 where
you can marvel in
mirth at this madcap ‘Murder Mystery Musical’ in all its magical
magnificence.’
One4Review * * * * *

‘There are no flies on Gaston Lemon’, and indeed not on this
performance either….it reminded me of a Baz Luhrmann film, ultra-camp
with a weird accordion player… performed by a clearly talented cast….it
is incredibly silly…such good fun and easy to watch, and is filled to
the brim with good old fashioned folly, and it actually works as a
murder mystery too, and leaves you guessing until the end.’ AllThe
Festivals.com * * * * *

‘A show with terrific tunes and sharp lyrical barbs and a pace so
galloping that characters die minutes after the end of their solos!’
The Herald * * * *

‘…very easy to enjoy….you’re wearing a broad grin at all the
superficial loveliness of it all. High brow it is not, but for
entertainment it certainly delivers.’ Broadway Baby * * * *

‘This is a witty, whimsical mix of pastiche, high camp and comedy - all
played to their utmost by a terrific ensemble cast. Very English, very
sharp and very funny….exactly the kind of show one wants to see at the
Edinburgh fringe….Murder Mystery Musical is the perfect Edinburgh
Fringe event. ….A terrific light bite of a show.’ Fringe Review * * * *
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