To say that improvised comedy divides audiences is an understatement. Like mime, it has its strong supporters, but there are also people who loathe it and would cross the street to avoid having to watch it. Some see it as a ‘purer’ form of theatre, stripped of props and unvarnished by rehearsals, while others see it as a disorganised mess, and a refuge for actors too lazy and undisciplined to bother learning their lines. However, the Murderettes group, who perform improvised Murder Mysteries, fall between both extremes.
After soliciting some suggestions from the audience, the trio (Peter Edwards, Matt Jones and Eve Truszkowska) create a story around a postman (Peter Edwards) who is framed for murder by the father (Matt Jones) of his incompetent architect (Eve Tuszkowska). This involves several characters including a: farmer, two policemen, a frustrated wife and a sexually adventurous escape artist. Matt Jones, easily the strongest of the three, played most of the extra roles with visible relish, using a variety of accents and mannerisms to differentiate the characters.
The problem was that Peter Edwards and Eve Tuszkowka seem much less enthusiastic, and their performances pale in comparison. Although there were only a few pauses, the play began to run out of steam two-thirds of the way through, with Edwards at one point reminding the audience that there was twenty minutes left. This suggests that show might have been more effective had it been ten minutes shorter.
This is a solid introduction to the genre, which the audience seemed to enjoy. The problem is that once the novelty wears off, it isn’t particularly exciting.
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