‘The Murdér Express: Jewel of the Empire’ review

Theatre, Interactive
3 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
(3user reviews)
The Murdér Express, 2019
© LAURENCE HOWE

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

This daft immersive murder mystery pastiche features a pretty good meal and some decent cocktails

The next in line of London’s endless stream of immersive-dining-slash-theatre experiences is ‘The Murdér Express’, from Funicular productions, who’ve done a couple of similar shows at this same address over the last year. Hop aboard a ‘train’ at the fictional Pedley Street Station in 1937 and you'll be taken straight to the French town of Murdér - that is, of course, if you make it there alive. Someone aboard the carriage has committed a crime and it's for you to help the detective uncover the mystery. 

There are elements of this production that really work and others that do not. The train and its 1930s decor are both rather fun and the cocktails at the bar are decent. Once you have been welcomed aboard your carriage by a busy body ticket inspector, you'll be full steam ahead for the four-course dining experience, created by ‘MasterChef: The Professionals’ winner Laurence Henry. Though it’s perhaps not the most adventurous of menus, it is a general crowdpleaser with chicken ballotine for the main and a ‘strawberry and white chocolate jewel’ for dessert (known to most of us as a ‘mousse’). 

The immersive theatre experience happens around you as you eat and drink and it’s very involved. In short, don’t expect to have a quiet meal here with your beloved, as you will be interrupted by the characters all night long. The show is also very, very slapstick. Your train is ‘moving’ for most of the duration and as such you'll have views out of the window of ’90s Clip art-style images whizzing past you at a rapid rate. It’s almost enough to make you queasy but not quite. Proper outdoor scenes of English and French countryside would have been more appropriate to bring that much-needed realness into the train carriage. 

Actors are pantomine-esque versions of the roles you would find in ‘Midsomer Murders’ or ‘Poirot’. The detective's hilarious French accent steals the show but for the most part, the play has no sincerity and I assume that was the intention. The plot is predictable and deliberate, forming around all the funny clichés of a murder mystery. It’s not deep, but it is an easy way to spend a few hours eating good food, drinking cocktails and having a laugh. 

By: Rosie Akenhead

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Users say (3)

5 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

4.7 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
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LiveReviews|3
4 people listening
1 of 1 found helpful

Went with husband and friends and had a great night out. The show was really entertaining, the food was delicious and I was really impressed with the venue and the attention to detail. Suitable for all age ranges whether young or old - would recommend! 

1 of 1 found helpful

We took a trip on the Murder Express as a part of a Work Social for our office and what a fantastic evening it was! It was an entertaining murder mystery -  the actors were full of energy, captivating the audience, engaging with us from the moment we entered Pedley Street Station. 


The three course meal was delightful... Make sure you save room for the dessert which is delightful! The staff on board were extremely efficient and the service was seamless throughout the show. Particularly impressive considering some members of our party had requested vegetarian or gluten free options.


A top evening was had by all, nicely rounded off with a cocktails (Try 'The Conductor'!) at the Seven Sins Bar in the station.


If you are looking for something fun and interesting to do that has a slight twist then look no further!

tastemaker

We took my dad here for father's day and it was great! The setting, props and attention to detail was brilliant, loved the scene of the station and the train itself was great. Good selection of themed cocktails at the bar and the food on board was delicious. The acting was great and was fully immersive whilst still having time to eat your meal. Really good fun and definitely a different way to spend a Sunday. The only thing I would say is we arrived at 12:45 and were not allowed in until 1pm, which seems strange as there is a bar so we could have got a drink in that time, rather than just waiting on the street but this was only a small point. 

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