The audience decides who gets to live and die in a whodunnit that changes every show. The drama of the small British town of ‘Murder Village’ plays out before your very eyes with the occasional help of a narrator, and many many flashbacks. They start with a well-developed cast of characters who poll the audience as they line up to determine the fate of the Village inhabitants.
Small glimpses of breaks of character (triggered by the narrator or casts own cheeky leading questions of each other) remind you you’re watching an improv show – something that could easily be forgotten in the casts seamless delivery. A credit to the cast that the breaks actually added to the show – a thoroughly professional delivery that felt like it never missed a beat.
The cast are impressive wordsmiths with puns galore, alliteration and word play of every varietal which were that much more impressive in an improv show. The cast worked together brilliantly, adopting jokes and running them throughout the show, and throwing each other under the bus with tricky questions as often as they saved each other.
With the show changing every night, there is minimal use of props. There wasn’t a single moment however, where the audience didn’t know exactly which mimed prop was being used. The narration of the cast of what was happening was brilliant – the lack of props actually made the show that much funnier and you could easily see this show multiple times and laugh just as hard at the wacky murder weapons and other strange objects that ‘appear’ throughout the show.
Despite a lack of props, the characters costumes were elaborate; the characters are so well established and thought out that they can remain constant despite the different outcome for every show.
The live soundtrack was another real highlight of the show, adding drama and setting each scene perfectly. Combined with the flashbacks and dramatic lighting set the scene and allow the cast to jump back and forth in time easily.
Highly recommend – silly, clever, unexpected, the audience was glued to their seats for the whole 60 minutes. See it at least once!
Murder Village is on until Friday 21 September at Arts House, 521 Queensberry Street. Tickets are $24. For more information or to buy tickets, visit the Fringe website.