Cabaret Festival

Interview: Richard Carroll – Murder For Two at the Cabaret Festival

The smash-hit Murder For Two is heading to the Cabaret Festival this week

A musical with two performers playing thirteen roles between them as well as accompanying the whole show themselves on the piano… can it be done? Murder For Two is exactly this, and it opens this week at the Cabaret Festival. 

Officer Moscowicz dreams of being a detective. So when the great American Novelist Arthur Whitney is shot, he jumps at the chance to prove his sleuthing skills. Did Whitney’s wife give him a big finish? Or is the prima ballerina the prime suspect? Or did the overly friendly psychiatrist make a frenemy?

After the two sold out seasons at Sydney’s Hayes Theatre, director Richard Carroll is excited to be bringing this smash-hit musical to Adelaide. Carroll is a director, writer and producer based in Sydney. Since 2022, he has been Co-Artistic Director of Hayes Theatre Co with Victoria Falconer. He spoke to Glam Adelaide about what led him to directing, writing and producing theatre.

“I had a bit of a strange and unusual trajectory in that I started producing first. I did some work in television production and then live music production before I started producing some theatre, which was always my first love. I then started dabbling in writing and I wrote some cabaret shows, which have previously come to the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, and then I finally started directing in my mid thirties. I think I had to just follow my instincts and love of the arts and trust my gut. I didn’t head into this with a plan, but it’s been the most wonderful career so far. I can’t believe now that I ever considered doing anything else, but I think that’s how life is sometimes.”

Richard Carroll

Over the years, Hayes Theatre has produced some incredible works. We asked Carroll how the co-artistic director position came about.

“I was part of the group that originally founded the Hayes Theatre ten years ago, so I’ve been involved with it before the beginning of its life. I was on the board in a volunteer position, and we got to a point where we felt that the company had really established itself as a key engine for the musical theatre industry. At that point we felt the need to create a role that was the head creative leadership, and there were various conversations about the best way to do this. It was really fortunate that Victoria Falconer and I have worked together for several years so when the suggestion came up that the two of us could do it together, it was a no-brainer. I was so thrilled – I could not be happier to be doing it with her. We both say quite often that we can’t imagine doing this job on our own in such a small company. To have it as a collaboration, a partnership with someone who is a great friend and a great creative partner, just makes so much sense.”

Murder For Two is a brilliant piece of musical theatre.

“There are lots of things about this show that appeal to me. It’s very much my kind of humour. It’s slightly surreal, it’s silly, and it’s extreme. The basic idea of the show is that there are two actors – one plays the detective, the other one plays all of the suspects. So immediately you’ve got this high wire act for the two actors to pull that off. Plus they both accompany the entire show on the piano themselves. It’s also just so funny. It’s 85 minutes or so, and it just powers through. It’s so well written and I cannot help but laugh.

“I guarantee you’re going to be surprised. You’re going to see something you’ve never seen before and you are going to be wowed by two incredible performers as well as laugh a lot.”

Who are the two brave actors performing Murder For Two at the Cabaret Festival?

“For the Adelaide season we will have Matthew Predny and Gabbi Bolt in the cast. We’ve done the show twice already at Hayes Theatre and Gabbi was in the first production we did. Matt is doing this show for the first time, which is very exciting. I’ve worked with Matt before on various other things.”

Murder For Two is another brilliant production that is in this year’s program. It’s no wonder that it’s so many people’s favourite festival.

“I love the Cabaret Festival. I’ve been fortunate enough to attend many times with different shows over the past 15 years. I’ve also loved heading over as a punter. It really is just my favourite place to be and, on the rare occasions that one has gone past and I haven’t been able to go, I’ve always had so much FOMO. I’m absolutely thrilled to be coming again and obviously will try to catch some other shows as well while I’m there.”

Murder For Two opens this Wednesday, June 21, at the Space Theatre. Strap in, Adelaide, for 90 minutes of mayhem, music and mystery!

Murder for Two
Space Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre
Wednesday 19 – Friday 21 June at 7.30pm
https://www.adelaidefestivalcentre.com.au/whats-on/murder-for-two

Photo credit: Phil Erbacher

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