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Previewed 27 September 2004, Opened 7 October 2004, Closed 16 October 2004 at the Savoy Theatre in London
The new 'Salsa' musical comedy Murderous Instincts in London starring Nichola McAuliffe and Kevin Colson.
There are Murderous Instincts in all of us! Enjoy an evening's entertainment of mystery and mayhem set to the seductive sounds of summer salsa. Edwina, glamorous widow of the late rum tycoon, Bradford Buckingham, is awaiting the return of her children in the wake of their father's death. Summoned with their spouses to the luxurious, palm-lined Buckingham mansion, the couples arrive with quiet trepidation, each desperate to claim their share of the vast estate.
But the family reunion soon collapses into frenzied turmoil with the sudden disappearance of their mother. As the mystery unravels, a string of forbidden secrets, lost dreams, and deeply-rooted fears are exposed in a dynamic whirlwind of lust, obsession, jealousy and greed. With an irresistible Latin score by Alberto Carrion, this explosive, passionate and hilariously screwball tale of family rivalry bursts on to the stage with a tantalising cocktail of red-hot salsa, soaring voices, infectious beats, and glamorous couture.
The producer Manny Fox says: "This show is returning to the old tradition of the great Broadway musicals of the past. It's an uplifting story of the triumph of the human spirit over adversity, with plenty of escapism, plenty of laughs and plenty of the kind of wonderful music that made the truly great shows of the past such an important art form."
The cast features Nichola McAuliffe as 'Edwina' and Kevin Colson as 'Adolfo' with Ben Goddard 'Juan', John Capes 'Reed', Simon Clark 'Tweedman', Jonathan D Ellis 'Miguel', Christopher Frampton 'Christopher', Sarah Ingram 'Felicia', Arvid Larsen 'Colin' and Natalie O Donnell 'Lauren'. This musical has music by Alberto Carrion and book and lyrics by Cinda Fox. Salsa choreography by Jhesus Aponte and artistic advise by Murray Melvin and Syd Ralph. Kevin Colson's London theatre credits include Children of Eden (Prince Edward Theatre 1991).
"The plot is spectacularly daft, lurching from climax to climax and resounding to the clatter of skeletons tumbling from closets. The characters are cardboard, the dialogue stilted and the script is choc-a-bloc with impassioned showdowns among the paper roses - a sort of day-time soap opera spliced with salsa music. When it is so preposterous that it appears to send itself up, it is quite a hoot. In fact if the show just went for broke and opted for camp Rocky Horror-style spoof, it might just find a niche. After all, it has energy, and the music, played by an onstage band, is appealing. But every time this element of the show gets the upper hand, it is thrown off course by a lurch into solemnity - usually characters searching their hearts in saccharine song and leaden lyrics. The hard-working performers ham it up like mad, but you are never really sure whether they are waving or drowning." The Financial Times
"The score by Cinda Fox and Alberto Carrion starts badly and gets much worse, until the only two in a large cast (McAuliffe and the ever-reliable Kevin Colson as her butler) who look as though they have never seen, let alone done, a musical, manage to give the last number a dignity it does not deserve... McAuliffe, however, takes to the lifeboats, offering a series of irrelevant but mesmeric turns of high camp, eventually coming to rest somewhere halfway between Hermione Gingold and Kenneth Williams in a blonde wig. By the end, even the writers have given up on any kind of a conclusion and we are treated to an aimless salsa disco." The Daily Express
"Murderous Instincts, the latest musical in the West End and the worst for a very long time, closed last night, just a week after it opened. The idea - an Agatha Christie murder, smothered in salsa, not the spicy sauce but the jazzy, brassy, Latin-American music and dance - was never going to work. Especially when laced with Mogadon and served as tepid as this... Nicola McAuliffe staggered through it all, hamming up her role quite shamelessly (or was desperation or perhaps even contempt?). She coughed up every Hispanic 'h' from the bottom of her lungs as if her intention was to spit it across the stage, and turned almost crosseyed with the effort. Hhh'absolutely hhh'orrendous." The Mail on Sunday
Murderous Instincts in London at the Savoy Theatre previewed from 27 September 2004, opened on 7 October 2004 and closed on 16 October 2004.