Based on the cult classic Clue, itself based on the classic board game Cluedo, the UK touring production of Cluedo is a night at the theatre like no other…
We all remember rainy days, huddled around a board game involving 6 suspects and a murder, and now, Cluedo has been brought to life in a glorious whodunnit production, touring around the UK.
Fabulous set design
The use of space in this play is remarkable. Anyone who knows the board game will remember that the house is unusually large, with many different rooms and very long corridors. The use of lighting as the characters walk around the set really make you believe they are traipsing around a large manor. Set designer, David Farley, has brought to life 7 different rooms on stage and has done so in a way that is constantly surprising and an imaginative use of the space.
Movement director, Anna Healey, is one of the reasons the illusion of Boddy Manor works so well. Her direction for the cast has made the space playful and given the characters some really fun and believable personality and physical traits.
The sound designer, Jon Fiber, has done a fabulous job of immersing you in the show. The moment you walk in, you are greeted with a radio station playing tunes of the 1940s, with snippets of voiceover from Zeb Soanes (of BBC Radio 4). In this, Soanes mentions listeners from all the places that the show is touring, a small touch that shows the attention to detail in this production.
The game is afoot!
The star-studded cast is lead by the talented Michelle Collins (of Eastenders and Coronation Street fame), who recently sat down with The Mancunion for a fun interview. Collins is joined by the skilled Daniel Casey (again from Eastenders and Midsomer Murders). Collins and Caey play Miss Scarlett and Professor Plum, respectively, and do so with immense stage presence. From the moment the two appear on the stage, you are aware that the game is afoot!
However, the stand-out performance was easily from Jean-Luke Worrell as the hilarious and charismatic butler Wadsworth. You can see that Worrell has been inspired by the original casting of Tim Curry in the 1984 film Clue. Yet, he makes the character entirely his own by incorporating effortless but deliberate physical comedy. His timing, facial expressions and the way he carries his character shows off his amazing talent and potential.
Other stand-out performances are from Etisyai Philip and Tom Babbage. Philip as Mrs White contrasts her witty lines with her innocent and stern demeanour, causing her jokes to carry well and in a way that does not conflict with any other characters.
Babbage portrays the surprising protagonist of the play, Reverend Green, with fabulous slapstick comedy as well as providing comic relief in quite a dark play.
Harry Bradley, as the ensemble man, provides us with a handful of characters who met an untimely end – as well as a moustache that fell off half way through his lines (which he recovered from very well)! The entire cast has well-developed characters and all get their chance to shine.
Jonathan Lynn and Sandy Rustin have done an amazing job of adapting the play from an original US-based script, and together with director Mark Bell, they have created a production littered with references to the time as well as the original board game. A classic dark whodunnit but made light by a brilliant team letting the contrast do the work for them.