As part of the Greater Manchester Fringe Festival, Liverpool based Hindley and Amos presented their comic murder mystery to a supportive audience at The Empty Space in Salford. Brimming with energy, this fast paced, devised piece of theatre entertained us as we were introduced to Howard and Geoffrey, two local police officers, and the various residents of the fictional Newpool as they investigate a sudden murder on their patch.
Hindley and Amos took on all the roles with skill, imagination and great comic timing. Strong physical theatre skills combined with a video backdrop helped set the scenes and present their many characters and situations with much humour and an excellent rapport between the two performers.
At 45 minutes long, this is a short piece of well-crafted slapstick theatre; an ideal fringe vehicle for talented writer/performers. I felt the strength in the writing was certainly in the sections which used poetic devises, limerick and rhyme to tell its tale. Clever puns, excellent rhyme and rhythm were put to great effect. This, combined with great physicality of characters and a snappily paced narrative meant we were happily carried along with the tale of the terrible murder, where the hapless pair find a dead body, then promptly lose it …. and I couldn’t help but feel a little sorry when it was over.
The Empty Space is a classic ‘black box’ theatre and the space was used well with a simple set, effective lighting and costume and well chosen music and sound effects.
This production is a worthy participant in this year’s Fringe Festival and I am only sad that the audience wasn’t a bit bigger and new and emerging performers and productions like Hindley and Amos get the sort of exposure and support they deserve. Catch it if you can!
Reviewer: Lou Kershaw
Reviewed: 28th July 2022
North West End UK Rating: ★★★★