The edgiest, sexiest, musical has been infusing London city with its unique original music since September but not enough people seem to know about it. Murder Ballad is a dark story about how humankind’s strongest emotion (love) can be a most dangerous intense feeling when mutual love is not found. Four characters – the narrator, husband and wife, and the heartthrob – are intertwined through a love affair. The songs mirror the emotions and build to a climax filling the audience with a kind of energy that they don’t exactly know how to comprehend.
It has been a long time since I have seen a piece of new theatre that deserves to be awarded with a multiple year run on a West End stage. This musical needs more publicity and it would be a gift to the West End world if it were to make the transition from the small (but perfectly intimate) Arts Theatre to a theatre that can play host to a larger audience.
The show is truly star studded with fantastic musical theatre professionals who you may have spotted leading shows like Wicked (Kerry Ellis), Phantom of the Opera (Ramin Karimloo), In The Heights (Victoria Hamilton-Barritt) and Finding Neverland (Norman Bowman). Their voices are full of a resonance that is so deep and beautiful and accompany performances that capture the attention of the audience for the full continuous 90 minute show. The cast are all incredibly talented but Victoria Hamilton-Barritt playing the role of Narrator is the particular star of this show. Her voice in particular is unique, smoky and runs right through you.Her presence was a catalyst to changing emotions and her character guided the audience through every intense interaction of the show.
There is little set and not much need for props in Murder Ballad because the performances are so raw and strong. The musical is about the intangible emotion love. A detailed set and a complex collection of props would cut through and ruin the emotional electricity that fills the auditorium.
The quality of this musical will leave your mouth agape. You will be stunned into stillness because there is nothing else you can do but watch and absorb the events playing out on stage. Murder Ballad will finish its run on 3rd December so don’t leave it too late. If you appreciate musical theatre, you cannot afford to miss out on a musical so special