A murder-mystery parody for every body
By Myron My
For fans of Agatha Christie or Cluedo, And Then There Were Not As Many is the Melbourne Fringe Festival show for you. Using as many as possible of the murder-mystery tropes at its disposal, the show revolves around a group of strangers invited to a secluded, large, dark manor for a party that they will be dying to leave.
And Then There Were Not As Many does not take itself seriously at all; in fact, I would put it under the “It’s so bad, it’s good” category. Actors stumble through lines and break character quite a few times but it’s clear they are having a good time on stage and enjoying playing their characters and with each other, so we in turn enjoy watching them crack a smile when they should be shocked.
Written by – and starring – Melbourne comedian Duff, the narrative is very loose and if you focus too much on it, you see more plot holes in the story than in the bullet holes in the body of the murder victim. The humour is very cringe-worthy but again, the actors make it work because they are relishing their lines and the opportunity to have fun with them.
Ben Volchok does a great job as the deadpan butler and Nicky Barry as the socialite with a few secrets (and dead husbands) up her sleeve is a crack up. Rounding out the cast is Sofie Prints, Frank Hampster, Adam Jacobs and Darren Lever, the former playing the bumbling film noir-esque Detective who attempts to solve the murders with the help of his shiny badge.
In a story that manages to reference killer lions, crazy lamas, dead bears and gassed badgers, as well as a handful of murders, And Then There Were Not As Many bring you genuine laughter for some parts and eye-rolling laughter for the others. While this is definitely not everyone’s cup of tea for performance or comedy, it was an overall enjoyable experience.
(NB: Due to the show running 15 minutes later than the schedule time, I was unfortunately forced to miss the denoument to make my next review commitment.)