Over a month has passed since The Mystery of Edwin Drood closed and diehard fans have been finding solace in listening to their cast recording on repeat, sharing photos from their stage door experiences, and even changing their ringtones to something Drood-themed. The show began previews on October 19th, 2012 and (after being extended) ran for 164 performances, through March 10th, 2013. During its run, many fans found themselves returning again and again to Studio 54 (aka the Music Hall Royale) to experience this one-of-a-kind musical. One such fan, Kelly Wallace, attended 15 performances-on one occasion she was even dragged onstage to take part in the opening number.
While many fans came to the show having performed in a college or community theatre production of it themselves, or being devoted fans of the actors involved in the Roundabout incarnation, Kelly came into the theatre as a self-described "Dickens purist." Her curiosity led her to investigate one of the first preview performances and she found that "it was probably one of [her] favorite theatrical experiences [she's] ever had." Such a good experience, in fact, that her enthusiasm didn't stop at frequenting the Music Hall Royale. She kept track of how the show's ending differed from night to night, spotting voting trends and patterns among statistics from 78 select performances.
So who most wanted to see poor Edwin pushing up the daisies? Shockingly, it turns out, it was Edwin's betrothed! Miss Rosa Bud was voted to be murderess during nearly half of the performances. The order for most-voted murderer was as follows:
1. Rosa Bud
2. The Princess Puffer
3. Helena Landless
4. Reverend Crisparkle
6. Neville Landless
8. John Jasper, who has never harmed his nephew. (We think...)
Kelly's analysis found that audiences were most smitten with the cunning Helena Landless, voting for her to portray one of the three potential roles (murderer, Datchery, or one of the lovers) more than any other character. The Princess Puffer and young Deputy seemed to be the most amorous, entering a loving embrace more than any of the other characters. The incestuous Landless twins were the second most-voted pair. (We're not sure what this says about our audiences. We're not going to think about it too much...) The most unusual and coincidental bit of data that Kelly stumbled upon, however, was figuring out when the Reverend Crisparkle was committing the sin of murder. As it turns out, the holy man was most likely to be voted as the murderer on Sunday-the Lord's Day! But what about the girl calculating all of the voting data? What ending would she vote for?
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