Murder for Two

Murder for Two Cabaret Festival 2024Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Space Theatre. 21 Jun 2024


Murder for Two is a cabaret version of theatrical romps of the likes of The 39 Steps, where the action races by at a dizzying pace performed by a handful of actors (in this case two) playing multiple parts. Gabbi Bolt plays a detective who is eagerly learning the ropes of the sleuthing profession, but is a stickler for protocol, and Matthew Predny plays a bevy of witnesses and potential suspects to a murder. Without elaborating the convoluted plot, witnesses are questioned, motives are unmasked, opportunities are exposed, and the case is eventually solved!


On a raised stage in the cavernous and uninviting expanse of the Space Theatre, the packed-out audience enjoys ninety minutes of slapstick humour, witty vocals and vamping piano playing, very tightly executed sound effects by a gun tech team, and elaborate story telling told at an unrelenting pace. Bolt and Predny are in their element, and apart from the sound effects, they do everything – it’s a tour de force.


Murder for Two is the creation of Kellen Blair (book and lyrics) and Joe Kinosian (book and music), and they pack a lot into the show; it’s almost too much. It has a relatively long performance history and has played off-Broadway. Everyone loves value for money and feels gypped when too much of folding stuff is doled out for too little time, but this show edges in on the other extreme. It is often overwritten, and the detail becomes an obstacle for the two performers to overcome. They are often forced to play the action too much at the same frenetic level with precious little ‘light and shade’ and almost no let up. Sometimes it feels like you’ve done ten rounds with Mike Tyson with your hands tied behind your back! BUT …. This didn’t seem to matter to many of the sold-out audience who sat back with their obligatory glasses of oh-be-joyful and let it all wash over them. Like sponges, they gleefully soaked up the fun bits and revelled in the occasional pratfall, faux violence, and politically incorrect references.


This is a show for anyone who likes a tongue-in-cheek laugh and enjoys whodunnits, but doesn’t really want to think too much about it!


Kym Clayton


When: 21 Jun

Where: Space Theatre

Bookings: Closed