Returning to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with an extended cast, Kathy and Stella Solve a Murder is an impressively polished production with surprisingly relatable characters, that explores the complexities of the true murder crime craze. With so much choice between crime cases and their formats, this show encapsulates the rise in interest in gruesome killings and those who seek to capitalize on it.

This quirky original musical reunites the writing and musical talents of Jon Brittain (Book & Lyrics/Director) and Matthew Floyd Jones (Music & Lyrics/Musical Director), who previously collaborated on the critically acclaimed, Fringe First award-winning A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad). With near flawless story and music, this is a perfectly packaged production of catchy tunes that highlights real world anxieties, smooth choreography and lighting with the added bonus of great pacing – even with an hour and a half run time.

The show’s original cast reprise their roles including Bronté Barbé (Newsies) as the anxious but sensible Kathy, Rebekah Hinds (Oklahoma!) as the strong-willed Stella who play two unlikely yet believable best friends. When their favourite murder mystery author Felica played by Jodie Jacobs (Rock of Ages), who steals the show whenever she makes an appearance, is suddenly murdered they are thrust into their own true crime story providing an opportunity for them to make a career out of their homemade podcast. Balancing the difficulty of trying to maintain a friendship while navigating your own path with trying to catch a killer sets up some hilarious songs, tender moments, and a worthy message. With some stellar powerhouse voices who all add their own unique energetic talent to the mix, even those less inclined to see a musical will be impressed.

The thread that runs through the entire plot is that life is messy, which is refreshing to hear especially within a musical. Small facts end up having bigger consequences such as Kathy initially dropping out of university due to anxiety and Stella having no plan for her life other than making the podcast. These issues accumulate into the climax of the show and contribute to the unresolved ending which actually makes it all the more satisfying. Camp, heart-warming and well-written, you will not be disappointed!

Kathy and Stella Solve a Murder runs until Sun 27 Aug 2023 at Underbelly George Square at 19:30