THEATRE REVIEW: Murder She Didn’t Write

PUBLISHED: 13:50 30 November 2018 | UPDATED: 13:50 30 November 2018

Murder She Didn't Write will be staged at Theatre Tropicana in November. Picture: Jamie Corbin

Murder She Didn't Write will be staged at Theatre Tropicana in November. Picture: Jamie Corbin


I am fortunate to be able to see a lot of live theatre in my job but before last night I had not attended a completely improvised show before so I was a bit apprehensive about seeing Murder She Didn’t Write at Weston-super-Mare’s Tropicana, as I didn’t know what to expect.

The show, based on the premise of the much-loved television series Murder, She Wrote, invites its audience to influence what happens by shouting out suggestions for the circumstances of a murder, the weapon of its construction, and who from the cast of four players will be the murderer and victim.

The action is all held together by a detective who leads the investigation and stops play to gather the evidence and recap the clues which eventually lead to the discovery of the motive and murderer. The company and audience have no idea how the show will unfold each time, making every performance completely different.

Presented by Bristol production company Degrees of Error, it is a clever piece of theatre stripped back to its bare essentials - a talented, quick-thinking cast and minimal set and props. It takes the audience back to the simpler days of early theatre, before elaborate staging and expensive effects and equipment took over, to what the stage was originally intended for - pure unadulterated entertainment.

The fairly small audience last night lapped up the show’s simplicity and threw themselves into the fully immersive experience, knowing full well the cast would sometimes have to take the suggestions into adult-themed territory, resulting in laugh-out-loud hilarity from beginning to end.

For me, the funniest bits were when, rather than shying away from the difficulties of a make-it-up-as-you-go-along storyline, the cast members fully embraced it and challenged each other to have to act out the silliest and most embarrassing scenarios they could possibly think of during flashback scenes and these were way more elaborate than anything a theatregoer could have suggested.

The audience could only marvel at how amazingly skilled the company are at performing what must be an extremely difficult genre. Not only do they have to negotiate accents and scene-setting which follow the audience suggestions, but also have to know when to not talk over each other so it does not become incoherent rambling but instead feed off and react to each other so the plot remains fluid and moves forward to its conclusion.

The story for last night’s performance worked brilliantly well from the scenario suggested by my colleague and bolstered by other participants equally eager to make outrageous suggestions to challenge the company’s skills. But Degrees of Error were more than ready to step up and tackle everything thrown at them, cleverly making the appreciative audience want to see how the show would pan out if they went back to see it another time.

The show, aimed at over-12s, will be staged next at Theatre Shop in Clevedon from December 13-15, suitably featuring a festive theme.

Tickets, priced £12, are available online at

More from Weston Mercury

Yesterday, 20:00

American nu metal band P.O.D. will perform at the O2 Academy Bristol early next year.

Read more
Yesterday, 19:00

A Weston body builder with stage two cancer raised £1,000 for charity by climbing Mount Snowdon.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:18

A woman has died today (Wednesday) after she was hit by a van.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:13

It’s that time of year again – oh yes it is! – when flamboyant costumes, dazzling sets and cheesy comedy are the order of the day so, getting into the festive spirit last night (Tuesday), I ventured forth with my 10-year-old son into panto-land at The Bristol Hippodrome.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:58

Hundreds of people got into the festive spirit to celebrate businesses and producers in Worle.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:57

Weston Athletic Club’s annual Christmas Cracker race took place on Weston beach with more than 2,000 runners taking part.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:31

Weston Athletic Club runners took part in the Full Monty Cute, a hilly 10-mile course in South Somerset.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:13

Trophies were presented to Weston Golf Club ladies at their annual dinner.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:00

Weston’s Grand Pier donated a six-foot Christmas tree to an adventure park to raise money for charity.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:21

Weston-super-Mare’s MP he will be backing the Prime Minister in tonight’s no-confidence vote.

Read more

Most Read Entertainment

Read Online

Read the Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury e-edition E-edition

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 7°C

min temp: -2°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Weston Mercury twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists