Friday, 6 May 2016

Murder She Writes @ Kings Arms, 5.5.16

To quote a fellow Scot, "there's been a murdurrrrrrr!" In fact, there's been a fair few in Cabot Cove and the residents have finally realised that the link is one Jessica Fletcher; author and amateur sleuth, always around when foul play is afoot. However, we are going to see dear Jessica in a brand new light, with Vertigo Production's Murder She Writes.

TV series of 264 episodes starring Angela Landsbury, Murder She Wrote is the inspiration to this OTT pastiche, along with Baywatch, Columbo and Twin Peaks. Filling the shoes of Landsbury, Dale Vicker commandingly dons a wig and cardie to bitch his way through two insane hours of whodunnit, complete with saucy songs, outrageous characters and triple entendres.

Stuart Reeve adds more drag to the mix with his League of Gentlemen style grotesque Gramma Frank. There's solid work from Richard Allen as a knock-off Hoff, and Ash Preston as Columbo.

Subtle this ain't and although the rest of the cast ham it up for all they're worth, it did feel like self indulgent fun among mates at times. Sound issues with the backing tracks also meant the lyrics were easy to miss causing some of the songs to fall a bit flat and seem rushed.

Gloriously trashy though it undoubtedly was, the script raised more titters than belly laughs and it needed to be a lot tighter. It just about stayed on the right side of offensive, rather than adult panto but maybe tipping even more into the abyss would have harvested more humour.

It's a fun romp though and Vertigo always come up with something different which is to their credit.  
Lord knows what they would have made of Midsommer!

Words: Drew Tosh

Photos: Courtesy of Craig Hepworth 

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