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Kathy and Stella Solve A Murder


BFFs Kathy and Stella host Hull’s least successful true crime podcast. When their favourite author is killed, they are thrust into a thrilling whodunnit of their own! Can they crack the case (and become global podcast superstars) before the killer strikes again…?

The hilarious comedy musical from the Olivier Award-winners behind Fleabag, Baby Reindeer and A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad) comes to Manchester!

Kathy and Stella Solve a Murder is Written by Jon Brittain (Rotterdam) and Matthew Floyd Jones (Frisky & Mannish), directed by Jon Brittain and Fabian Aloise (Evita) and stars Bronte Barbé (Newsies), Rebekah Hinds (Oklahoma!), Jodie Jacobs (Rock of Ages), Imelda Warren Green (Doctor Who Time Fracture) and TJ Lloyd (Guys and Dolls).

Presented by Francesca Moody Productions, Kater Gordon, Wessex Grove and Fiery Angel

Watch our "In Conversation with Bronté Barbé" video.

Kathy and Stella Solve A Murder Tickets



Ambassadors Theatre

Sat 25 May 2024 - Sat 14 Sep 2024


Kathy and Stella Solve A Murder ON TOUR

Our review on Kathy and Stella Solve A Murder

Kathy & Stella Solve A Murder - HOME, Manchester - Tuesday 10th October 2023 by Karen Ryder

Our Rating

If you want a musical with a difference and a quirky edge to it, then Kathy & Stella Solve A Murder is the show for you.  Best friends since they first met in the sandpit at primary school, Kathy and Stella bond over their love for true crime, realising they understand each other in a way no one else does.  As their friendship grew, so did their obsession for all things murder and as Kathy faces a difficult time in her life, Stella suggests they start a true crime podcast in order to cheer her up.  Do they have any listeners?  Not really.  Do they care?  Not so long as they can carry on indulging in what they love, but when an opportunity to meet their favourite true crime author presents itself, they dash along to meet her with the aim of becoming a part of her own podcast series.  Of course, Felicia Taylor is a superstar and not in the least bit interested in two nobody’s from Beverly in Hull.  Felicia cracked the case of the Hull Decapitator after all so imagine the irony when she herself is murdered via decapitation and Kathy and Stella find themselves right in the middle of the story.  Surely now is their chance to take their podcast to the next level by solving the murder………… but at what cost?

Bronté Barbé (Newsies, Oklahoma, Beautiful) and Rebekah Hinds (Oklahoma, Billy Liar, The Syndicate) are rip roaring as the best friend duo of Kathy and Stella. Barbé as Kathy is able to make us feel empathy, joy, connection, and always bring us back to laughter with such natural ability that, her niche obsession with murder aside, she truly feels like someone you might know. Barbé has a beautiful gift of making the audience feel like the show is just for them.  Hinds as Stella has funny bones in just about everything she does, from an eye roll, to playing with the Hull accent as a comedic tool, to vocal acrobatics.  She has an undeniable presence on stage and when you can belly laugh till you ache just by the way she sits down on a bean bag without saying a word, you know you are in the presence of a genuinely brilliant performer.  Together, Barbé and Hinds know exactly how to bounce each other, and how to utilise the others strengths to join as an unstoppable force that will leave you bursting out the kind of unexpected and unrestrained laughter that makes you sound like a batty seal!  

Jodie Jacobs (Rock Of Ages, WWRY, Evita) is utterly malleable as she transforms from Felicia, to Felicia’s sister, then brother, and a Police DS.  An enviable powerhouse voice, she blows the theatre apart with charisma, and a fierce strength in each character she portrays.  Her detail is fantastic, from the various accents to the over the top laughs, we get just about every emotion on offer.  Imelda Warren-Green (Little Miss Sunshine, Bad Girls, support artist for Tom Jones & Lionel Ritchie) is equally versatile, playing numerous characters, but non so scene stealing as her fan girl Erica.  The physicality on display, the facial expressions, the little nuggets of brilliance from the voice to the awkward yet thrilling speed of some speeches, down to her over excitement and eagerness are hilarious.  TJ Lloyd (Guys & Dolls, Aladdin, Merrily We Roll Along) is another performer to play multiple roles, including Justin the mortuary worker, a dodgy barman and Kathy’s mum.  Each is as different as they sound and Lloyd easily morphs from one to the other with a slick and swift brilliance.  Whether it’s a cheeky smile or a groove in the hips, another solid performance is on offer.  Jacob Kohli and Sarah Pearson complete the on stage cast with endless energy, charm and seem to be everywhere all at once.  The multi rolling is so seamless that you can easily forget this is actually only a cast of seven performers.

Cecilia Carey’s set is simple yet versatile and everything it needs to be.  Side units double up as pub bars, huge Murder Con signs drop down to dominate the stage, replacing the otherwise ever present clue board.  Incidentals such as beanbags, office chairs and morgue tables complete with bodies are whisked on and off and the whole set seems to deliver whatever is needed with ease.

Kathy & Stella Solve A Murder is full of blinding one liners, two liners and ten liners!  It has funny jack hammered into every crease and corner, every lyric, and every plot twisting opportunity there is.  The humour is dark, current, observational, and everything in between, which is why nobody in the audience can escape going home full of those happy vibes – even though the show is murderous!  It is so current that our reference points throughout are Netflix, Line Of Duty, Costa Coffee, Twitter, and hashtags, with the odd Jonathan Creek thrown in for good measure.  The lines come so thick and fast that you could easily watch this show again and again and still be finding new things to giggle about.  Songs are dedicated to the love of all things dead, happy places are found in the mortuary, as Kathy sings of her new safe haven. We watch agog as she high fives the corpse and joyfully swings the cartilage knife around with glee.  Meanwhile, Stella sings about validation through the adoration of strangers and pokes great fun at the craziness of social media. 

Matthew Floyd Jones and Jon Brittain have written something special and with the producers of shows such as Fleabag, Baby Reindeer and A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad) behind them, it only serves as evidence as to the magnitude of their talent. Kathy & Stella Solve A Murder has a unique brand of enviable comedy that is intelligent yet entirely daft all at the same time.  And the songs!  The show has an epic score of belters.  Each as strong as the last, each as anthemic in nature, whether they be ringing out with such power that you can literally feel your chair vibrating, or whether they hit you hard in an entirely different way with their tenderness, before flooring you again with a deadpan one liner.  This music and its lyrics keep you on your toes throughout and I loved it.

Fresh from The Edinburgh Fringe, this show knows its audience inside out and knows its own mind.  It is so confident in its own ability that it is able to remain excessively funny throughout, whilst gently dropping in moments of tough truths regarding unsolved crimes, police corruption and the heartless side of murder podcasters who profit from someone else’s worst nightmare.  And what is fantastically refreshing is the two lead characters relationship being about friendship rather than a romantic one.  It will make you grab your bestie, give them a squish and wonder what on earth you can create for your own podcast, because as this show reminds you, when you’ve got that buddy who hates everything you hate and loves the same weird and wonderful things that you do, every conversation, every joke, every code word seems like a potential podcast just waiting in the wings.  And you won’t care if you have no listeners, for just like Kathy and Stella, it’s all about spending time with your pal – just avoid anything to do with murder and you should be ok.      


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