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Kathy & Stella Solve a Murder Review | HOMEmcr | Manchester

The macabre becomes musical as the Olivia Award-winning team behind Fleabag immerses the HOME audience in a charming true crime case. We follow Kathy (Bronté Barbé) and Stella (Rebekah Hinds) as the flailing podcasters venture outside of their garage to tackle the gruesome murder of their favourite murder mystery podcaster.

Like students turning to SparkNotes in the final hours of their dissertation, these amateur detectives waste no time tripping over clues and plundering Wikipedia to figure out the facts of their favourite whodunits. Writer, Jon Brittain has penned this timely tale that crafts a seamless fusion of music with the nation's obsession with murder and a unique DIY approach. Librarian Kathy and between jobs Stella are longtime school friends which helps musical director Matthew Floyd Jones pull the mystery genre into a vibrant musical realm, adding original songs that team the pair with multiple duets about friendship.

Accompanied by an onstage two-piece band and a concoction of sketchy suspects, the show takes several lyrical plot twists as surgical interventions and twin sisters pop up to support the grippingly silly narrative with a constant flow of fun. Barbé’s warm vocals and Hinds’s gruff tone pair perfectly as the friends resolve to solve the case with a variety of belting tracks. The ensemble makes this musical shine as the multitalented Jodie Jacobs and TJ LLoyd take on the roles of numerous suspicious suspects and the hilarious Imedla Warren-Green emerges as an intensely funny superfan. Alongside an intricate board of clues that form the main backdrop of the show, each new character infuses the soundtrack with humour or unburdens their guilty conscience through song.

Kathy And Stella Solve a Murder is a brilliantly written production that covers the bonds of friendship but wraps it all up in an intriguing mystery that overspills with passion. The tightly-packed comedy is headed by a duo with palpable chemistry and backed by a fantastic ensemble cast. While murder takes centre stage, the show's witty sense of humour and sharp stealth staging expands on what is expected in the all too familiar true crime genre. Without plunging into the serious nature of reliving a psychopath's footsteps, lyrics touch on the shameful nature of profiting and relishing in others torment. However, this is mainly ironically stated in the opening number as the show immediately drops the guilt trip and sets off running with an endearing murder mystery that audiences will cruise through.

Tickets are available via the #HOMEmcr link


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