‘Murder Town‘ is a murder mystery unlike any other. It is Erin McGathy’s one woman show, following Detective Linda Quartermain as she recounts her most difficult case to date.
The stage is a blank canvas save for the police tape sectioning off the floor. We meet Detective Quartermain first, and she explains how she came to be head detective in the small town of Los Alamos, California, otherwise known as Murder Town (titular phrase!) for its string of nine homicides in two years, and the case which ended her career.
McGathy then switches to Meredith Lund leading a meeting in the town hall for the upcomin
g town festival, never afraid of bluntly sharing her opinions of her neighbours so publicly. She calls upon her niece, reigning beauty queen (known as Miss Appleblossom) Blythe Lund, to give a short speech ahead of her hosting the upcoming Miss Appleblossom Contest. Little did Meredith know that she would find the young beauty dead moments later, in the McDonalds carpark just outside.
McGathy expertly performs this show with vivacity and precision, keeping a firm grip on the audience’s attention while portraying the residents of the ill-fated town, each one hilarious and distinctive in their own way, particularly her seemingly hallucinating Tilda Swinton.
Director Tara Flynn certainly made good use of the space and created an enthralling atmosphere on the charming stage in The New Theatre. The minimalist set design by Sinead Purcell worked excellently with the lights by Éanna Whelan which, while not overly complex, kept the tone of the show where it was supposed to be. The sound, too, fulfilled its role; present and apt but not distracting from the dazzling spectacle that was Erin McGathy.
Exploring the motives of the locals and their often dull, ambitionless lives, Murder Town is much more than a competent comedy show, certain to keep you laughing throughout. This is not one you would want to miss.
‘Murder Town‘ runs until the 16th of this month in The New Theatre from at 9pm nightly.
by Johnny Walsh