REVIEW ROUND-UP: Murder Ballad at the Arts Theatre

In Features, London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Reviews by Emma ClarendonLeave a Comment

The UK premiere of this new American musical - a tale of love, desire and murderous obsession - stars Kerry Ellis, Ramin Karimloo, Norman Bowman and Victoria Hamilton-Barritt. It's booking at the Arts Theatre until 3 December 2016. What have critics been saying about it?  The Guardian: ★★★ “Although the characters are not particularly interesting and the show is full of cliche, there is much to hold the attention, including Jordan’s often flinty lyrics” Carn’s Theatre Passion: ★★ “Hats off to director Sam Yates for taking this original material and making it into such a polished and engaging show. This very cool show is sophisticated, sassy and brilliantly performed.” The Stage: ★★★ “Director Sam Yates and his designer Richard Kent give it an appropriately slick and edgy sheen.” British ★★ “the piece is tastefully and meaningfully directed by Sam Yates.” 161004-kerryellis-sfcomp_profile-843x340 London ★★★ “It’s not much of a plot, but Sam Yates’s visually arresting production keeps our attention.” London Box Office: ★★ “With a feel of The Last Five Years meets Chicago, Murder Ballad had everything you could ask for from a new musical, and the fact that it has a cast of Musical Theatre royalty, there really is no reason not to go.” Broadway World: ★★ “the best original rock musical London has seen in a long while.” Jonathan Baz Reviews: ★★ “Poignant, punchy and perfectly performed, Murder Ballad drips with desire.” London Theatre 1: ★★ “it is difficult not to get caught up in the raw energy and fast-paced composition.” Time Out: ★★★ “a weak musical, even with its musical-meta mentions of famous plot clichés and a bizarre final song that was not the clever knowing wink it aimed to be, but you needn’t run scared of this production: as performances go, they killed it.” West End Wilma: ★★★ “Murder Ballad is a good new musical with a few great songs but not enough to warrant a show that is entirely sung through.” Live Theatre UK: ★★★ “In the end, the overwhelming feeling is that you have attended a rock concert rather than a fully staged musical. Perhaps that is all that can be expected when Murder Ballad is performed in a space like the Arts Theatre.”    

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Emma Clarendon
Emma Clarendon studied drama through A-Level before deciding she was much better suited to writing about theatre than appearing onstage. She’s written for a number of online publications ever since, including The News Hub and Art Info. Emma set up her own blog, Love London Love Culture, in April 2015 and tweets at LoveLDNLoveCul.

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