by Romy Foster
Northern Corner brings humour and mischief to this brand-new musical based in the fictional town of Rothersdale. It’s a quiet town where nothing ever happens, so when a local councellor is shot, the community unravels. A once peaceful town reveals all it’s dark secrets when the blame keeps shifting to nervous suspects in an attempt to find out who the murderer is.
Four actors multi-role a town full of people so expertly and with total commitment to the characters, from psychopathic flower shop owners to chilled coppers just itching for a cuppa. Despite the strong performances, sometimes the stakes just don’t seem high enough for a murder mystery in a small town. Still, the actors provide great entertainment. Nia Tilley, Katie Brier, Will Garrood and Will Lambert work well together, with nice moments of choral singing and ensemble work. Each performer has their moment to shine, be it Tilley in her role as the eager-to-solve-a-case police officer who is often undermined by her superior officer (Lambert). His relaxed approach to a murder in his town is very unnerving, but it’s impossible not to laugh at the fact he’d rather just leave it all be and have a cup of tea. Garood gives off a ‘Luther’ vibe as the dark and brooding cop from Leeds. He knows better than everyone else and works best alone so the juxtaposition between him and Tilley’s excitable and persistent character is really pleasing to see. Brier really shines as the flower shop owner who recently found out that she was a psychopath after taking an online test. Her performance is bizarre and hilarious, providing lots of comic relief throughout the show.
The original songs are fantastic. The show could actually benefit with the addition of one or more songs, or familiar motifs between scenes tying them together. There were long waits between songs for the next song to start. They really are that enjoyable.
This show is fun and has the audience guessing throughout who might be responsible for the crime. The ending provides a decent twist, revealing the culprit and why they did it. It will be exciting to see what Northern Corner do next, and hopefully they will bring this show back for another run sometime soon.
There’s No Mystery in Murder runs through 27 August.
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