FRINGEWORLD 2017 – How To Co-Host A Murder (3 stars)

Review by Laura Money

How To Co-Host A Murder is another one of those cleverly-placed FRINGEWORLD 2017 shows. The Ellington Jazz Club is not new to the festival, in fact they have a full programme of works and shows on during Fringe, yet none of those shows are quite as fitting as this one. The club is transported back in time to 1929 – New Years Eve, in fact, and the cabaret-style seats and seemingly smoke-filled room has a real speakeasy vibe that really helps add to the mood. Before the show, Madeline Shaw flits in and about the crowd in her role as ‘cigarette girl’ Audrey Wood – a role that later sees her take to the stage, but for now it’s all about the audience interaction. Shaw nails the accent and the look, her face is perfect for the vintage hair and make-up.

Opening with young, cocky and camp host, Freddie (Hamish Briggs) singing ‘Wilkommen’ from Cabaret, the scene is set, complete with five red-sequen-clad dancers and back up singers. These ladies are funny and ham it up, with the cliche ‘sexy’ moves of the early 20th century. None of the women have overly powerful voices, however, and are frequently overpowered by the rather prominent Briggs, who dominates the stage. Things get confusing when, of course, star singer Millie Halliday is murdered – but who did it? An unorthodox police raid sees everyone a suspect, and a singer it turns out. Everything from Gypsy, Annie, Anything Goes and in particular, Chicago is shoehorned into the show, sometimes at the expense of a believable plot-line.

The show has the feeling of a high school production where the students pick songs from their favourite musicals and put them into a show. It’s a pretty good quality, but lacks the cohesion of a truly well-written and slick production. How To Co-Host A Murder is a little bit of fun for a night out, especially if you like show-tunes and audience participation!


When: 13th – 19th February 2017 | 5:00pm & 8:00pm

Where: The Ellington Jazz Club | Northbridge | PERTH

Tickets: $21 – $31

Info: Duration 70 minutes | Suitable 18+ | WA Artist