Review: Kathy and Stella Solve A Murder

Move aside Agatha Christie

music review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
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Kathy and Stella, photo by Esko Mattila
Published 11 Aug 2022

Written and directed by Jon Brittain, with music and lyrics from Matthew Floyd Jones, this murder mystery takes musical theatre to the next level with a gripping plot, excellent performances and a healthy dose of silliness.

Best friends Kathy (Bronté Barbé) and Stella (Rebekah Hinds) love a good murder and are the passionate hosts of a true crime podcast dedicated to their mutual obsession. When their favourite crime author is suddenly killed, they find themselves at the heart of a real-life whodunnit, which they attempt to solve with the help of their “murder gang” podcast fans.

Like any good crime story, it has plenty of twists and turns, making it a captivating mystery with a surprising conclusion. The witty script is brought to life with perfect timing and comedic flair, touching on issues such as internet trolling, misinformation going viral and obsessive online fans, which adds cultural relevance. But this is really a story about two friends trying to do the right thing, and it’s difficult not to root for them, even as their hopes and dreams are belted out over a corpse in a morgue.

The pace drops in the middle, and it’s a challenge to pick up every word of the lyrics over the live keyboard and multiple voices. This doesn’t lessen the entertainment value of this crowd pleaser from the team behind Fleabag and Baby Reindeer, which sets the bar high at the Fringe.