I described this show as “bonkers” when it was first staged by the Watermill two years ago. Bonkers, I am delighted to say, it remains in this revival.

The storyline concerns American author Arthur Whitney, who has been shot dead at his own birthday party.

Mr Whitney delighted in revealing nasty secrets about his neighbours in his books. As the neighbours are the only guests at the party, many of them have a motive for polishing him off – especially those neighbours whose grubby stories have yet to be told.

And the old boy has been working on another book: “He didn’t even have the chance to finish All His Bananas,” exclaims his none-too-grief-stricken widow. So who would benefit if the book was never published? Sent to investigate is ‘Officer’ Marcus, who might, or might not, be a genuine detective.

So far so routine, but the writer/composer team of Joe Kinosian and Kellen Blair turn the story into a truly remarkable, hilarious musical send-up of every TV police procedural you’ve ever seen. And only two actor/musicians are involved.

The performances of Ed MacArthur as Marcus and Jeremy Legat as everybody else quite simply could not be bettered.

Their sense of timing is gobsmacking, their rapport with each other is rock-solid. Even when an audience member sneezed loudly in one of the show’s few quiet moments they both answered “Bless you” in perfect unison.

Legat effortlessly switches characters and sexes, often at breathtaking speed. And their madcap piano duets, with one person’s hands arching over the other as they sit alongside at the keyboard, are unforgettable.

“We have already seen the slow, painful death of musical theatre up here,” remarks Legat towards the end of the show. Don’t you believe it. A better way of avoiding the winter blues for a couple of hours is hard to imagine – and I guarantee that there is absolutely no reference to Brexit in any form whatsoever.


  • Until Saturday, February 23. watermill.org.uk/