Murder She Didn't Write: The Improvised Murder Mystery at Pleasance Courtyard from Bristol’s “Degrees of Error” Theatre is a tongue in cheek improvised “Murder Mystery” with more than a little bit of a nod to the classic murder mysteries of the 1920s and 1930s. Although not based on, everyone will recognise the format of give us the suspects, give us their reasons and put everyone together in a room for the final “reveal” that writers like Agatha Christie and Edgar Wallace so loved to pen.
Adding a twist to everything here is the fact that this is an “improvised” script where the audience get to select at random variables for our story and dialogue to improvise around. To do this you either have to be very brave, or very good. “Degrees of Error” are both and watching the fluidity of this improvisation was a pleasure with every one of our performers having that light comedic timing and touch that is so essential to a production like this.
Set on “Love Island”, our story of diabolical murder took the name this afternoon of “The Case Of The Bird That Disowned Its Son”, and with more than a few egg, feather and bird name innuendos (kept in very good taste), we were all left wondering until the very last moment who our victim and murderer would be. Both victim and murderer were selected by the audience.
Comedy is not something I review too often as few people ever manage to get it right on-stage, and the very word “improvised” usually sends loud warning bells ringing alarmingly in my head, but “Murder She Didn't Write” managed successfully to tread that very fine line of light humour without descending into farce, and proved simply to be an enjoyable afternoon’s theatre, so enjoyable that I will have to make time to go and see “Adventures of Improvised Sherlock Holmes” as well this year.
Review by Tom King
Murder She Didn't Write: The Improvised Murder Mystery
Pleasance Courtyard - Pleasance Beyond
Times vary. Check Fringe 2018 website
Suitability: 12+ (Guideline)
Country: United Kingdom - England
Group: Degrees of Error and Something for the Weekend