12th February 2022
By Shaun Tossell
The new season of Cirencester’s Barn Theatre begins with a bang, with the arrival of Murder For Two – A Killer Musical Comedy.
This new production of Kellen Blair and Joe Kinosian’s award-winning musical, marks the first time the musical’s setting has been relocated to the United Kingdom.
Murder For Two is described as “a zany blend of classical musical comedy and madcap murder mystery with a twist. Two actors play thirteen characters… with a piano.”
This show has struck gold with the casting of its two leads Lee O’Reilly and Sam Denia.
O’Reilly makes his professional debut in the role of Officer Marcus Moscowicz, which you would barely believe unless told, delivering a delightfully amusing, charming performance and is the perfect counterpart to Sam Denia.
Denia is an absolute hoot as the suspects, whizzing about the stage transforming into multiple distinct characters on the fly to great effect, utilizing a multitude of accents and displays a masterclass in physical comedy that is a joy to witness.
On top of delivering hysterical performances, they are both incredibly talented piano players, which is magnificently showcased throughout.
All of this works wonderfully due to the fantastically clever direction from Bryan Hodgson (who previously directed the 2019 Built by Barn production of The Importance of Being Earnest). Hodgson is also responsible for the inspired relocation of the musical, which allows the material to evoke familiarity and send up the classic British murder mystery.
Murder For Two is an incredibly technically accomplished show, putting some bigger productions to shame. It features gorgeously detailed set design by Justin Williams, which is responsible for many hilarious visual gags, working hand in hand with the incredibly dynamic lighting design by Sam Rowcliffe-Tanner.
The book and songs by Joe Kinosian and Kellen Blair are absurdly amusing and surprisingly clever, keeping the audience guessing who the killer is, until the very end.
Murder For Two is gloriously silly and fantastically funny, featuring virtuoso comedic performances. It would be criminal if the show doesn’t have a further life. It’s so good…you’d kill to see it again!
Murder For Two is playing the Barn Theatre in Cirencester until the 5th March 2022.
Tickets & more info – https://barntheatre.org.uk/murder-for-two-a-killer-musical-comedy
Photo credit – Alex Tabrizi