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16th May, 2022

REVIEW - Cluedo stage play at Birmingham's Alexandra Theatre brings board game to life with plenty of fun and frolics

Tristan Harris 3rd May, 2022 Updated: 3rd May, 2022

AS A massive fan of the board game, I just had to catch this classic ‘Cluedo’ whodunnit’ when it visited Birmingham’s Alexandra Theatre.

As you would expect, this stage play throws together a concoction of colourful characters – all as equally entertaining.

From the promiscuous Miss Scarlett, posh Mrs Peacock and apologetic Rev Green to the hapless Col Mustard, proactive Prof Plum and feisty Mrs White (along with a few others).

Set in – what appears to be either a quintessential English mansion (or spooky manor house after dark – depending on your viewpoint), the audience is taken on a fast-paced roller-coaster of slapstick murder, mystery and (albeit mostly comical) intrigue.

You could see how much the actors were relishing their very OTT roles and, equally, the audience were enjoying watching them ply their trade on the stage.

They were ably abetted (seems an ideal word for a night of crime) by one of the cleverest stages you will ever see. There is a lot of ground to cover on a Cluedo board and it seamlessly transformed from lounge to library to hall to billiard room to kitchen, conservatory and more.

The first half of the show was mostly for scene-setting along with some nice and topical one-liners (most of the characters had links to Westminster) and references to the famous game.

After the interval things hotted up as other characters arrived, inevitable killings occurred, building up to the big reveal finale.

It’s hard to pick out individuals in this production as they all play their part – Michelle Collins (Scarlett), Daniel Casey (Plum), Wesley Griffith (Mustard), Etisyai Philip (White), Judith Amsenga (Peacock) and Tom Babbage (Green).

Laura Kirman was also great as the ‘not-so-French’ cook, as were the police officers.

But – head and shoulders above the rest – was Jean-Luke Worrell as camp butler Wadsworth. He held the show together throughout and demonstrated an almost super-human level of energy.

His recap in the second half was a particular highlight and, as well as being instrumental in the majority of scene changes, had the audience in hysterics with a multitude of facial expressions and mannerisms.

If you are a big fan of Cluedo and like a laugh (which is probably most of us), this is for you.

This show brings the board game we have all being playing for years to life and I can guarantee – if you watch this – when you sit down to play the game next time, it will never be the same again….

Fitting as well that – with Cluedo inventor Anthony Ernest Pratt born in south Birmingham and (when he met his end) was buried in Bromsgrove Cemetery – we were invited to review this show.

Now who’s choosing the murder cards?…….

Cluedo runs until Saturday at the Alexandra Theatre.

Click here for times, tickets and more information.

 

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