Nothing excites me more than discovering a brand-new musical that’s completely original and damn near perfection – and that’s exactly what Kathy and Stella Solve A Murder! is.

Performed in the round, Kathy and Stella are true crime podcasters, a genre which has become hugely popular in recent years. The two women are from Hull and are best friends, but the complete opposites of each other which is evident in their costumes. Stella (Rebekah Hinds) is dressed in a Nirvana shirt, leather jacket and docs which gives off an edgier look, compared to Kathy (Bronté Barbé) who is dressed like a hippie with floral trousers.

The cast bursts onstage with lights held in front of their faces as they sing an intro song to the podcast, which sets the scene. We’re soon introduced to Felicia Taylor (Jodie Jacobs), the bestselling true crime author, that Kathy and Stella idolise, who is subsequently murdered. The two podcasters then decide to investigate the crime.

The musical numbers are catchy, upbeat and polished. They all contain humorous lyrics by Matthew Floyd Jones and each member of the cast displays strong vocals throughout the performance – particularly Hinds. I did find that the keyboard was slightly too loud at times, but this is due to the shape of the venue, meaning the musician needs to be in the performance space. However, this minor criticism, is the only one I can make about this otherwise faultless production.

The cast give high energy performances, three of them take on multiple roles throughout the show and manage to make these distinguishable. Jacobs even makes a gag that you never know who she’s going to be next. But nonetheless, she manages to make each of her characters individual and there’s never any confusion over who’s who.

Hinds is hilarious in her deadpan delivery of this brilliant script by Jon Brittain. Imelda Warren-Green proves an excellent comedic actress in her role as Erica, displaying soulful vocals throughout. This show is raucously funny, with tender moments between the two best friends as well.

Kathy and Stella Solve A Murder! is exactly why we should be investing in new musicals, there is so much about this show that excites me. The show combines two guilty pleasures of musicals and true crime. And this show needs a London transfer and fully staged production immediately. This is one of the best shows I’ve seen at the fringe, and also this year. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so much, and simultaneously been blown away by the talent on stage. This is one of the most polished new musicals at the Fringe this year, and I can’t wait for where the show goes next. They killed it (sorry, I know that was bad).

Rating: 5 out of 5.

{🎟 AD – PR invite – Tickets were gifted in exchange for an honest review}

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