Tom Williams (Writer/Director) and Cordelia O’Driscoll (Composer) collaborate to create this new musical, a sort of cross between The Last Five Years and Sweeney Todd. The tale tells the story of Harry (Sebastian Belli) and Rose (Lindsay Manion) who meet one night on a first date and find that they have a very unusual hobby in common with one another; that is, they are both self-defined sociopaths who like to kill people. After finding each other, they work together on a collaborative romantic killing spree, supported by a chorus made up of Alexander Cosgriff, Olivia Doust, Lawrence Hunt and Teah Lewis.
The set primarily comprises of a table and some chairs, which sometimes fails to create a fluid movement to the show. It’s presented to a thrust audience, but plays chiefly to those in the centre. We can feel a bit left out at the sides.
That being said, what lacks in fluidity of movement makes up for with the music. O’Driscoll has composed a beautiful folk score; it’s gentle with its journey, with lyrics which are lightly comical in their storytelling. Its sense of relaxation is completely juxtaposed with the murderous rampage at the story’s centre, bringing fresh sounds to the genre of musical-thriller. Belli and Manion have singing voices which makes what they do seem effortless. It’s the sort of music you’d enjoy listening to on a sunny afternoon stroll.
The chorus play a myriad of characters, Hunt providing particular comic relief with his caricatured academic and newsreader. Nothing is too theatrical in this show, in that it never goes over the top. The script and lyrics are playful and the love story remains central without becoming one filled with stereotypes. It’s a shame the performers are occasionally hidden from us with a slightly misjudged lighting design. The costumes subtly complement the gentle nature of the storytelling…
The show isn’t mind blowing, but the concept is fun (not necessarily original, as the Sweeney Todd reference alludes to) and it takes a folk spin on the ‘murderous-lovers’ story. The final song waves a smooth goodbye to this country road journey of a musical.