Review: KATHY AND STELLA SOLVE A MURDER!, Ambassador's Theatre

The New Comedy Murder Mystery Musical is currently showing at Ambassador’s Theatre

By: Jun. 11, 2024
Kathy & Stella Solve A Murder! Show Information
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Review: KATHY AND STELLA SOLVE A MURDER!, Ambassador's Theatre
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Kathy & Stella Solve A Murder!From the opening number to the introduction of ‘Kathy and Stella’s Murder Podcast’, this show is a delight. The murder mystery story is largely told through the catchy and well crafted musical numbers from Matthew Floyd Jones are where no moment is wasted. Every line is intended to not only entertain but also effectively drive the plot forward and develop the characters.

Early into the show, written and co-directed by Jon Brittain, the scene is set in Beverley, near Hull, for Kathy and Stella, best friends and co-hosts of a murder mystery podcast to delve into their very own murder mystery story. The story is filled with delightful supporting characters, each with their own quirks and style. Hannah-Jane Fox and Imelda Warren-Green both play a number of characters to great effect.

Kathy & Stella Solve A Murder!

The murder mystery plot is well-crafted, keeping the audience guessing while seamlessly integrating with the comedic elements of the show. However, at its core, this musical is the tale of the platonic love story between Kathy and Stella.

Bronté Barbé and Rebekah Hinds as Kathy and Stella respectively have terrific chemistry; their little jokes, cultural references and mannerisms are those of a long term friendship and played with ease which quickly bring the audience into their inner circle. The two friends overcoming their own obstacles and working through their loving but codependent relationship struggles is both engaging and heartwarming.

These two female leads are completely different in style and character but complement each other well. Bronté Barbé’s Kathy is anxious and more considered, and demonstrates her love for murder in a deeply dark hilarious musical number set in a morgue. Rebekah Hinds as Stella is confident and her quick wit combined with melodramatic tendencies make for some of the funniest moments of the show. Her soulful "The Approval of Strangers" is an absolute gem of a musical number; her stage presence meaning that her delivery is humourous, relatable and heartwarming.

Kathy & Stella Solve A Murder!

The set design, largely based around Kathy’s Mum’s Garage, by Cecilia Carey is well designed. Disappointingly, there were a few minor sound issues which make understanding some of the dialogue and lyrics more challenging for audience members seated in certain areas of the theatre. However, only a few jokes will be missed and there are many more to catch.

The quirky and entertaining show reaches its conclusion with a resolution which is well-crafted, keeping the audience guessing and engaged while seamlessly integrating with the comedic and heartfelt elements. Much like a rather famous past production of the Ambassador’s Theatre which is now shown next door, audiences will be asked to keep the secret from future theatre goers.

Kathy and Stella Solve a Murder! is at the Ambassador's Theatre until 14 September

Photo credit: Pamela Raith


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