Move over Hercule Poirot, there are new detectives in town and they’re here to uncover a gruesome murder on one of Perth’s most notorious train lines.
Transforming The Girls School Library into a decaying train carriage, the Performing Arts Alumni Society takes audiences on the ride of a life time with their latest work Murder on the Midland Line.
Taking some slight inspiration from a well-known Agatha Christie novel, this show flips the idea of a classic murder mystery on its head; progressively becoming more and more ridiculous as we journey from Perth to Midland station.
Our primary detective is Sal Moose (Lucy Wiese), a police force-reject who is anal about living by the rule book in her new role as a train officer. “Teaching” Sal the ropes of train life is Trudy Gooch (Hannah Quaden) a loud, delusional, Bali-loving bogan who has serious beef with coppers (due to a failed rendezvous with a police officer in her youth).
Train passengers include pregnant, snobby, MLM, boss-babe Sara Kensington-Rosé-Smith (Shakyra Baskeyfield), typical tradie Bobby (Lachlan McGregor), whacky-witch Tabitha Titlock (Orla Poole), self-entitled nurse Madi Sin (Milli Higgins), pompous, bratty rich school-boy Henry Mank-Richards (Matthew Jones) and dodgy pharmaceutical boss, and our murder victim, Dick Richards (Troy Coelho).
Cast of Murder on the Midland Line. Photography by Declan Young.
Writer and director Courtney Lee takes a very tongue in cheek approach with this show, demonstrating to audiences early on that this is not to be taken seriously. Vaguely following the essence of a murder mystery plot, the scenes are sewn together with continuous gags with almost an improv-like style.
The performers do not hold anything back, as they try to ‘one-up’ each other with how melodramatic and crazy they can be. This involved a fair bit of upstaging, which would generally be a problem in any other show but with one like this where the plot is so simple (and mostly well-known) it’s something to just sit back and enjoy.
Taking the cake is Hannah Quaden as Trudy, who got me laughing with the simplest deranged look into the audience. However, each performer certainly found their opportunity, or opportunities, to have their big moment.
If you don’t take yourself too seriously and you’re prepared for a night of slight insanity, certainly consider this to close out your Fringe season. It will definitely be a memorable experience.
Murder on the Midland line has three remaining performances across the 12th and 13th of Feb.