REVIEW: Making a Murderer: The Musical | Smart Entertainment | Edinburgh Fringe

22-29 Aug | 17.40 | Underbelly @ Bristo Square | Get Tickets


The Netflix true crime phenomenon of 2015 is back, and this time, it’s musical.

Open with a tour guide trying to sell a trip around the now notorious town of Manitowoc, Wisconsin, desperately attempting to attract tourist to view the town on its merit instead of by its associations with a man framed for murder.

And so, the tales of Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey are told.

Often musicals of this nature take a comedic approach, pointing fun at the stereotypes created within whatever it may be they are interpreting. Making a Murderer: The Musical however, brings an element of taste to the proceedings, the careful script constantly alluding to the fact that these are real people who have been exploited by the American Judicial System.

Due to the subject area the show finds itself a little ballad heavy, with moments of light relief taken to poke fun at the tourism industry, corrupt lawyers and police brutality. I know what you’re thinking, doesn’t sound very light, but how can it be when discussing such a delicate topic? It is very cleverly written juxtaposing classic techniques from Musical Theatre to best illustrate the point that sometimes society needs to stand up for the underdog.

With impeccable singing, beautiful ballads and a live band this show is a tantalising spectacle of musical theatre at its best.


The Arts Business Top Tips:

  • Make it a musical: Take something, like a dark, true crime documentary from Netflix which became an international phenomenon and turn it into a musical! I’m incredibly surprised that the 2022 Fringe hasn’t seen Tiger King: The Musical too, an idea there for next year! Over the years I’ve seen musicals inspired by everything from reality TV shows like Love Island and Bake Off famous books like Harry Potter and Fifty Shades of Grey or even just buzz words like Dyslexia: The Musical or Trump: The Musical. And if you have anything like this I will be going to see it, as will a plethora of other like-minded musical theatre fans. It doesn’t matter the quality, you will likely have a bestselling show on your hands.
  • The Barbershop Flyerer: Some of the most successful flyerers are those of the a cappella world, their tuneful harmonies and sheer volume these performers immediately attract a crowd who will stand and watch and feel socially obliged to take a flyer at the end. Admittedly these are usually fresh faced uni students who are on holiday with their choral society but it totally works for a professional company singing about how DNA will set you free too.
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