Amy catches up with BAFTA Award Winning Comedy Writer, Phil Mealey, who has created Making A Murderer: The Musical, which is heading up to the Edinburgh Fringe this summer!
Hi, how are you feeling ahead of the Fringe?
Excited, nervous, can’t wait to finally be performing at the fringe. I have been as a visitor many times, but never had the opportunity to perform until now…. I feel this musical I’ve written is perfect for Edinburgh.
Making a Murderer is a hugely popular Netflix series, what do you think it is that people love about it?
Like millions of people, I was fascinated with the case and having watched the Netflix documentary, I became obsessed with it and watched as much detail on that as I could. It seemed so unbelievable that as a writer if I had presented this as a script to a commissioner, I’m sure they wouldn’t have believed the story was plausible. I ended up down a rabbit hole whilst resourcing additional elements that were not covered within the documentary. I saw the opportunity to parody flaws in the justice system whilst maintaining the dignity and truth of the real-life tragedy.
The genre of true crime is hugely popular right now, why do you think people love it so much?
Interesting characters, who, what, when, and where, is what makes them intriguing and enjoyable. True crime has all the basics of good storytelling: Watching true crime also makes you realize a depth of love when you get to see what victims’ families are willing to go through, and obviously its ‘real’ not fiction. Sometimes the true stories are even more unbelievable than the made-up ones, like ours.
What can people expect from Making a Murderer the Musical?
Well its not 42nd street…I think people will be curious to see how we have put it together, it’s entertaining throughout, its funny, its sad and I couldn’t be more pleased with the production.
How has the show been adapted from screen to stage?
The Musical is not based on the Netflix documentary of the same name but is built on the real-life events that took place during the trials of Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey. There is a large amount of content in the public records that the documentary doesn’t cover which is another great reason to come and see what we have created.
Why is the Fringe so important for new musical productions?
The Fringe is where a lot of productions, producers, performers, and creatives are given their first glimpse into the professional theatrical world. It is a safe space to experiment and hone your craft whilst feeling supported by the incredible infrastructure that is the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Making a Murderer the Musical is seeking a long and bright future and where best to start this journey than the birthplace of so many incredible shows.
What are the key themes/ messages in the show?
We are proud supporters of ‘The Innocence Project’ who work to fee the innocent, prevent wrongful convictions, and create fair, compassionate and equitable systems of justice for everyone. They also support freed people, their friends and families as they navigate the transition back into an ever-changing world. We want our audiences to come in with an open mind and leave having learnt something of how the judicial system works and how is has failed so many.
What do you hope that audience members will go away thinking / feeling after the show?
Our musical is a roller coaster with highs and lows, it’s thought provoking and a true reminder that the facts we are presenting are ‘real life’ not fiction. I hope that people will leave the show with a mix of feelings, some happy, some sad, some angry, some emotional but most of all entertained. Our cast are incredible and I’ve been told the music is phenomenal
With so many shows to choose from at the Fringe, why should be come along to yours?
We have created a piece based on a true-life tragedy that has been seen across the world via the TV documentary which, to my knowledge, has never been done before. It’s funny entertaining and thought provoking.
And finally, where can people buy tickets to the show and where do people find the show on socials?
We are running at Underbelly’s CowBarn venue from the 3rd August – 29th August with tickets on sale via the Underbelly website – https://underbellyedinburgh.co.uk/event/making-a-murderer-musical
You can find us across a variety of social platforms:
ABOUT THE SHOW
Making A Murderer: The Musical is on from the 3rd of August until the 29th of August at 5:40pm daily. It’s on at Underbelly’s Bristo Square and you can find ticket info here