If you are interested in seeing a fun play, more than just slap stick, The Murder Game should be on your list.The writing is very witty, not just relying on staging and visuals. Ms. Gabrielle and Mr. Praed are quite engaging as the Judge and District Attorney, reminding one of Hepburn and Tracey.The audience had a great time the night we were there. - Michele Z
25 Mar 09
Very much enjoyed it. Fast paced but not too fast. The humour flowed smoothly and the cast have gelled well. - David Collard
22 Mar 09
A wonderfully entertaining play that has lots of wit and some really subperb acting. Quite smitten by Gabrielle. Must See!!! Bill - Bill Ryan
21 Mar 09
A wonderfully entertaining play with a terrific cast and lots of laughs. The staging was quite clever and the integration of the multimedia clips added to the overall farcical effect of the show. James Farwell's first effort as a playwrite deserves kudos, and his knowledge of law and the Louisiana political scene serves to greatly enhance the scripting.
The acting by Ms Gabrielle, Mr. Praed, and the entire cast was spot on, and the incidental music scoring within the multimedia clips was quite creative.
All in all, a very enjoyable evening, and I would certainly recommend this show to anyone. - Jack
21 Mar 09
I went Wednsday night and truly enjoyed the evening. I thought the play moved quickly and the actors were great. The supporting cast were up to par and loved the hitman. - chris montgomery
20 Mar 09
This isn't reality TV, it's a stage play. It is funny, witty, cleverly constructed, well written and beautifully acted - in short, thoroughly entertaining. A great evening - don't miss it! - David K
19 Mar 09
Very funny, slick repartee in a tight, complicated plot mixing politics and murder. Campaign ads that look and feel horribly realistic in a Swiftian way (the author is a himself leading US Campaign Consultant, as well as being a lawyer). Well played in authentic Louisianna accents by Josefina Gabrielle (as the judge) and, Michael Praed (District Attorney) - think Beatrice and Benedict (well, not quite). But my favourite actor was Patrick Clancy as Melvin - heavily camped, but absolutely appropriate in his role as a Figaro-esque fixer. The audience laughed a lot and loved it. Will get better, as it gets played in; a few glitches in timing at this stage (second night). But an extremely enjoyable evening, in a great theatre. - Harold Carter
19 Mar 09
I have seen numerous plays at the Kings Head and Almeida. This was one of the best I have seen for some time. Very amusing script and good satire on american political life. Great interaction between the play and the audiovisual scene. Fast moving and lots of one liners. Interesting from a psychological perspective. A must for all to see. This play deserves to make it to the west end. - Marc
19 Mar 09
I went to see this play with my girlfriend for her birthday on Sunday and came out feeling massively disappointed. I agree with Richard's point about the play having the feel of a (cheap) sitcom. The performances of the actors cold not be faulted but, to my mind, they could do little with the dialogue which was downright cringey in places.
I was sitting in the theatre and I really didn't care about what was happening. I'm a law student and hearing the two leads continuously interweave legal jargon into their conversation was just embarrassing ("I rule that opinion a no contest" etc). That said there was the occasionally funny line and moment (I quite enjoyed the accents the two leads put on whilst trying to cancel their kill orders with the hitman) but all in all it was rather low brow and pretty unsophisticated.
Richard thinks that the simplicity to the story and the lack of subtext is refreshing. Although I can understand the sentiment, I cannot agree. To me it felt lightweight and amateur. You can really tell its Farwell's first stab at writing something. Plays need not be serious to be enjoyable (I recently saw Harold Pintar's 'No Man's land' and left the theatre feeling equally unsatisfied) but to my mind they do need some substance. This play was about as substantial and fulfilling as a Happy Meal - but at least with a Happy Meal you get a free toy.
In my opinion, don't go and see this play. Spend your £18(!) on one of those murder mystery games with the DVD. You'll find it a far more enjoyable way of spending two hours on a Sunday afternoon
- Alex Marshall
16 Mar 09
The biggest mystery about this play at Islington's Kings Head is the title.
Why, with several other books, a couple of films, and at least one very well known play called 'The Murder Game' already (Constance Cox, West End 1946 and just about every AmDram company in the country since)is it so titled?
The characters and setting would have suggested to me half a dozen more suitable, and less easily confused, names.
That being said, the play itself has some snappy dialogue, and a couple of laugh out loud one liners - especially about tomatoes - but is more like a slick american sitcom script, than one intended for the theatre.
The two leads, Michael Praed (yes, and it took a lot of self control to try and supress memories of 'The Beautiful and the Damned')and Josefina Gabrielle are underplaying their roles, but the script could easily accommodate, and indeed would benefit from their acting being bigger and more expansive, and no doubt they'll develop over the run anyway.
Of the other characters, Pito - sex personified by a dark and brooding Ben Jones - is perhaps the most satisfyingly written, though it was a bit disappointing to have him joined by such broadly drawn gay characters, which I think would be my main gripe with the piece. Come on Kings Head! By all means architypes, but stereotypes in 2009 really aren't funny.
Matt Healy's Clyde had the look of a shaven headed Tom Jones, and the voice of Jackie Mason, but this works well in context. His pieces of business drew some of the biggest laughs, though he may just have been lucky with his aim at the performance we attended (Saturday Evening, March 14th).
I won't give away the ending, but suffice to say, given the number of things that went wrong, I'd have been shooting the stage manager. I trust someone will have spent Sunday Morning with a tub of glue and a screwdriver.
My partner - ever picky! - pointed out how badly dressed the set was as well, which was strange, as the set itself was one of the best I've ever seen at the KH. Perhaps that's where the money went.
I tried to work out what the subtext of the show was, and do you know, I was ultimately refreshed to come to the conclusion that there didn't seem to be one. This is a thriller, pure and simple, and on that level, an enjoyable evening's diversion. Go see it. - Richard Voyce
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