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Murderous Instincts - the spectacular salsa musical to die for!



Review by Emma Whitelaw

BLOOD is thicker than water, but when there’s money involved family loyalty soon turns to thoughts of betrayal, greed and sometimes even murder!

Murderous Instincts offers a sensational night of entertainment, mystery and mayhem set in the sultry surroundings of Puerto Rico.

The untimely death of rum tycoon, Bradford Buckingham, sees his children return to their palatial family estate. His glamorous widow, Edwina, played by Nichola McAuliffe, of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang fame, awaits the arrival of her grown-up children.

Rather than mourning the loss of their father, they are all desperate to claim their stake of the multi-million inheritance he left behind.

The happy reunion, however, soon dissipates into chaos when Edwina disappears. Has she been murdered and, if so, by whom?

The children turn on one another in a bid to prove their own innocence and hence get their hands on the lion's share of their late father’s estate.

Alongside the drama of their missing mother, the children all harbour their own deliciously devilish secrets.

Everyone seems to love someone other than whom they are with and the love triangles that develop are as hilarious as they are complicated.

Arvid Larsen is fantastic as Colin, the family’s straight-laced son. He hides possibly the biggest secret of them all.

Both his wife, Felicia (Sarah Ingram), and son, Chris Frampton, are completely oblivious to the fact that friend of the family, Miguel, is more than just a friend.

Jonathan D Ellis is deliciously camp as the sexy Puerto Rican, Miguel. Dressed in pink and carrying a feather fan, he sings a gorgeous little number, proclaiming “it’s so fun to be gay!”

The unintentional revelation by Colin to his wife that he is bisexual is completely hilarious and it allows Felicia to reveal her love for Juan, Ben Goddard.

Juan is married to Colin’s sister, Lauren (Natalie O’Donnell), who has a love triangle of her own.

As always, love conquers all and the lovers end up happily ever after… but what of Edwina?

Well, I won’t give anything away; let’s just say she, too, has a happy ending.

The set design and costuming is absolutely stunning.

The set, although elaborate, is easily transformed from inside to outside the mansion, and is done so swiftly and on many occasions.

The final scene is the most spectacular, the set becomes that of a big band stage complete with salsa dancers and a number to end all numbers.

Murderous Instincts is a light-hearted, sexy and sassy musical with a delicious salsa vibe that is guaranteed to please.

Murderous Instincts, book and lyrics by Cinda Fox. Music by Alberto Carrion. Artistic Advisors, Murray Melvin and Syd Ralph. Starring Nicola McAuliffe, Arvid Larsen, Sarah Ingram, Natalie O’Donnell, Ben Goddard, Chris Frampton, Simon Clark, Jonathan D Ellis, Kevin Colson, Jhesus Aponte, Janet Fuentes Torres, Tim Hodge, Rebecca Sutherland, Philip Coyle, Ross Finnie, Andrew Gowland, Tania Newton, Lucy Williamson, Shona White, Y Rafael Del Busto, Eva Hurychova, Abbey Rae, Ralph Sebastian, Sammy Garcia, Christopher Obi, Milton Sensenton and John Capes. September 20 2004 - January 29, 2005 at the Savoy Theatre, Strand, London WC2. Box Office: 0870 1648787.

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