A Killer Party | Online | Review
We have come some way since the beginning to 2020 when online entertainment meant Youtube and early Tiktok. At the start of lockdown we nurtured our theatre fix by watching clunky play readings, monotone monologues and stilted pantomimes via zoom. Thankfully now, the calibre on offer is much better as theatre creatives have adjusted their focus, honed their craft and have a dedicated platform to stream productions to their pining theatregoing fans.
With cast and creatives from the West End, A Killer Party is one such gem. Produced by Katy Lipson for Aria Entertainment, Tanisha Spring for Blue Mahoe Productions and Ilai Szpiezak for Upstage Creative, this online musical murder mystery in nine bitesize chucks can be streamed on Stream Theatre until 30th May.
The show opens with Detective Justine Case (Harriet Thorpe) struggling to write her memoirs. Her first case was back in the 1990s, the decade when Dinner Party Murder Mystery games were regularly played, their premise being six main suspects, each with a motive and the opportunity.
In A Killer Party, director (and failed West End actor) Varthur McArthur (Jason Manford) has invited a group for a dinner party, to read through his latest play, a murder mystery to be performed at Blackpool’s smallest regional theatre. Before the reading can start, McArthur is murdered! How did he die, who did it, and why… Justine Case (Emma Salvo) is brought in to investigate.
The suspects are played by a plethora of top West End performers Cedric Neal, Oscar Conlon-Morrey, Debbie Kurup, Lucas Rush, Amara Okereke, Ashley Samuels & Rachel Tucker (and a cameo appearance by Ben Forster). The cast are socially distanced in multiple locations neatly and expertly directed and edited together by Benjio Sperring.
Part of A Killer Party’s charm is that it doesn’t pretend to be anything that it isn’t. Stereotypes are unapologetically used as each of the suspects are interviewed. They hilariously ham up their roles and plead their cases by belting out comedic songs written by Jason Howland and Nathan Tysen.
You can buy each 10 min episode individually or binge-watch the lot as I did. Either way this cheesy, funny, crazily over the top whodunnit is worth a punt, it certainly put a smile on my face… Saying that; I can’t wait to see these guys back where they belong…back in the West End.
Reviewer: Sammi O’Neill