‘Witty & warm-hearted’: MURDER FOR TWO – The Other Palace

In London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Reviews, Ticket recommendations by Nick LambertLeave a Comment

The Other Palace, London – until 13 January 2019

The Studio at The Other Palace is an intimate theatre with a small stage and seating for about a hundred people. This is the perfect setting for this show, which is an affectionate homage to black and white murder mystery movies and to camp musical theatre. It is written by an American pair, Joe Kinosian and Kellen Blair, who clearly have a love for both of the genres that they are sending up.

This is a two-handed play, with Ed MacArthur playing the investigating officer and Jeremy Legat playing everybody else, apart from the moment when an audience member is brought onstage to play the death throes of a poisoned murder victim. It takes a few minutes to adjust to the quick changes between all the different characters, but soon with only a single prop and a shift in demeanour, Legat has us following his transitions through the roles at breakneck speed.

Murder For Two is a madcap musical. It has 11 songs. Usually one of the pair plays the piano while the other sings and dances but there are duets or songs with multiple parts. The songs that have the officer interviewing three members of a boys’ choir, and an arguing married couple are particularly inventive. The lyrics in the songs are clever. ‘A Friend Like You’ which opens the second act is particularly good.

The familiar elements of the story arc are magnified and made into a virtue so that we can derive pleasure from knowing what is about to happen and laugh when it does. There are very funny lines in the dialogue, but the main comedy comes from the character portrayal. The intimacy of the theatre adds to the warmth of the performances, MacArthur and Legat have charisma and there was a personal connection with the audience.

Murder For Two is pure light entertainment, every trope from film noir and musical theatre has been thrown in the mix. The only thing that could have made it camper would have been the addition of a butler in a feather boa. It is on at The Studio of The Other Palace until 18 January. It is a witty and likeable presentation, a warm hearted murder mystery musical.

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Nick Lambert on InstagramNick Lambert on Twitter
Nick Lambert
Born in London and raised in Ireland, Nick Lambert loves London, where he now lives and works. He set up his blog The London Lark! to celebrate the city, offering reviews of places he’s been and things he’s seen – with a major focus on theatre, his particular interest. As a theatregoer, he’s also been designated a Time Out Tastemaker and regularly posts on Trip Advisor, where he’s amongst the top 1% of reviewers read. He tweets at @NickNickLambert.
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Nick Lambert on InstagramNick Lambert on Twitter
Nick Lambert
Born in London and raised in Ireland, Nick Lambert loves London, where he now lives and works. He set up his blog The London Lark! to celebrate the city, offering reviews of places he’s been and things he’s seen – with a major focus on theatre, his particular interest. As a theatregoer, he’s also been designated a Time Out Tastemaker and regularly posts on Trip Advisor, where he’s amongst the top 1% of reviewers read. He tweets at @NickNickLambert.

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