BWW Review: A KILLER PARTY, Stream.Theatre
We have certainly come a long way in the “home theater” genre of online programming. After a first success in the United States last year, the musical comedy web series A murderous party has been adapted for UK audiences with a star-studded cast, with every comedic moment exploited to the fullest under the direction of Benji Sperring.
The failed West End actor and artistic director of Blackpool’s smaller regional theater, Varthur McArthur (Jason Manford), gathers his creative circle at a dinner party to read his new play and murderous mystery. Unfortunately, disaster strikes before the starter is even out of the way. It’s up to the police officer turned detective, Justine Case (Emma Salve), to interrogate the individual guests and find the murderer.
The premise of “isolating” each suspect in different rooms for questioning provides excellent coverage of how the piece was filmed in the homes of individuals – and with clever use of neutral backgrounds, the impression of two people. being in the same room is usually obtained. . All the credit on this front is due to Zahra Mansouri’s design and cinematography by Click Boom Studios.
Salve is charming and endearing as a newly promoted detective. With a lot of self-aware humor, she steals many scenes as she goes from room to room.
Rachel Tucker delivers a hilarious performance as Joan McArthur, delivering what is certainly the first musical number I have ever heard with ASMR – a niche corner of the Internet specializing in “relaxing sounds”, for those who don’t know. not the concept.
Manford is full of pomp and bravado, until his performance is interrupted at his peak. Amara Okereke effortlessly and adorably jumps between musical styles as the lead lady, Lily Wright. Cedric Neal and Debbie Kurup (pictured above) revel in their duo “Never Miss My Mark”. Oscar Conlon-Morrey doesn’t disappoint with a very comedic and elegantly sung performance as the show’s set designer. Ben Forster also makes a particularly funny appearance – but I won’t spoil the premise.
The 90-minute series is divided into short episodes, each containing a few numbers. It looks awkward when looking at them all at once, but for those who just want to dive in, the scenes are cut in the right place and the handwriting (book by Rachel Axler and Kait Kerrigan) ensures that the format moves to different rooms. to meet different characters do not become too repetitive. Some performances seem a bit over the top, resulting in a loss of momentum in some scenes: easily achievable when you’re not in the same room as your stage partner. Clever use of stop motion footage around a scale model is a good idea for moving around the crime scene.
Jason Howland’s music and lyrics by Nathan Tysen span multiple musical genres, with a few ’80s pop ballads in tow. The pre-recorded vocals are evident in places at times, but it was a good call to capture performances this way to ensure a tight ensemble when the actors sing together.
Maybe one day we can have murder mystery nights again. Until then, if you fancy a laugh and a thriller, take a look A murderous party.
A Killer Party available online until May 30
Photo credit: A Killer Party UK