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
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
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
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: