The show begins with a voiceover depicting a teen monologuing an introduction for a documentary for their Media Studies class. This is segues into sound bites from the many different characters Connolly and Williams will be playing throughout the evening. We hear everyone’s various takes on the murders and bring alive this community of people. From the overtly sexual Jayne and Liesl, the wife of the one of the victims, to the overly ambitious mayor and TAB owner, we get to meet the stunning array of different characters Connolly and Williams have put together. These small vignettes on each person are fabulously portrayed and I was able to easily recall who Connolly and Williams were meant to be as they switched between characters.
From elderly women to bogan skuxes; overly ambitious mayors to standoffish store owners, every character has a distinct personality and I was laughing through each small introduction. Anyone that has lived in a small town knows these people. Cliché they may be, but they also serve as community touchstones in towns like Mournmoor. We then get introduced to the police duo and to the white outline of Bill, the baker, the unfortunately deceased. Connelly plays the male half of the duo, coming off as a typical ‘I love rugby’ Kiwi bloke, whilst Williams is the American-accented, more glamorous female policewoman who thought she had left Mournmoor far, far behind. *Slowly puts on aviators while staring off into the distance.*
Bouncing back and forth through all of these characters while unravelling a murder mystery was extremely fun to watch and every few seconds I was smiling and laughing at how the show unfolded. The detectives are a brilliant mix of Wellington Paranormal and CSI: Miami tropes, so I love pretty much everything they do and say. I have to give a special shout out to the characters of Clive and Uta, two ukelele-clad hippies. Most of their lines are spoken in unison by Williams and Connolly (an homage to a skit from SNL) and they do this fabulously. It is difficult to perform so I was astounded by how funny and well-executed this was.
My friend did mention that while she loved the show, she did find keeping track of the characters a bit difficult, but as this show is still in its development stage, Connolly and Williams could easily implement quick and easy visual cues such as hats, badges, stickers etc. to help the audience with the quick character changes.
Following the conclusion we circle back to that starting documentary, making The Mournmoor Murders seem complete and tied together. I laughed so much and had such a great time. I felt uplifted on my wander home and my friend and I prattled about it nonstop, talking about this moment and, oh, wasn’t that part just so amazing! I would actually love to go to this show again because I know others who would really like it and I’d love for them to discover this gem of a show. A day or so later and I am still in mourning the fact that there was not more of The Mournmoor Murders.
The Mournmoor Murders is playing until the 18th of March at BATS theatre. You can find tickets here.