Written by the Olivier Award-winning team behind Fleabag, the show has been causing a stir since it had a sell out run at the 2022 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, followed by a successful expanded production at this year’s event.
The hilarious comedy musical centres around Kathy and Stella, two childhood friends from Hull who have struggled to find their way in the world and hang out in a garage discussing murder cases in their true crime podcast.
They are yet to hit the big time in the podcast charts but after meeting famous true crime author Felicia Taylor, their lives change dramatically as they become part of the story.
A true musical
Kathy and Stella is very much a musical with pretty all the dialogue set to music. If that isn’t usually your thing though, don’t let it put you off. The singing adds a lot to the experience with some super funny moments as the chums interact through song. And where else will you see a stand out musical performance set in an autopsy lab?!
All the cast are superb with Bronté Barbé and Rebekah Hinds as Kathy and Stella putting in outstanding performances. Imelda Warren-Green, Jodie Jacobs and TJ Lloyd also shine as multiple characters.
As a podcast host myself (discussing small businesses rather than murder), I particularly enjoyed the recording scenes. It’s great to see this most modern of mediums being featured in a big show.
The music keeps your toes tapping thanks to a fantastic band that are visible on the side of the stage throughout. There are limited props and set, but so good are the performances that it’s easy to observe the change in locations from the garage to the police station to the pub to MurderCon.
Comedy musicals, particularly one that’s also a murder mystery, are tricky to get right, but this show delivers in spades. We loved it!
Kathy and Stella Solve a Murder! is at Bristol Old Vic until 30 September 2023.
Image credit: Ellie Kurttz