A new British play, based on an American play that was based on an American film that was itself based on a British board game! Phew! Where would you start?
Well, lets begin with the set. If you can imagine a large single box set which needs nine (yes 9!) fully functioning doors, secret panels, hidden safe, folding walls to expose several other rooms AND a working – one way or another – chandelier, you need a truly top designer. Fortunately for the packed houses this play attracts, they found the perfect one in David Farley! No set wobble here as the doors start slamming! I was not surprised to see that the direction was in the more than capable hands of Mark – The Play That Goes Wrong- Bell. The same speed and precision are needed in this play as the other one.
The cast headed by Michelle Collins as the glamorous ”business woman” from Soho Miss Scarlett and Daniel Casey as Professor Plum were all excellent . Breaking the 3rd wall occasionally and generally keeping the whole thing moving (I mean moving too, he had to open and close those heavy walls to the other rooms!) and with a great raport with the audience was Jean-Luke Warrell as Wadsworth the butler. A lovely cameo as a fake French maid got plenty of laughs as played by Laura Kirman and the same could be said for the accident-prone vicar in the hands of Tom Babbage. I also loved the almost Joyce Grenfell like gangliness of politician’s wife Mrs Peacock (Judith Amsenga). The title of the most unfortunate person of the night I suppose goes to Liam Horrigan who plays three characters – all of which meet fairly horrific ends! Special mention must go to Harry Bradley standing in as Professor Plum on the night we went, the Professor didn’t put a foot wrong – well no more wrong than any of the other characters! Wesley Griffith as the slightly dim Colonel Mustard and Etisyai Philip as Mrs White (sadly “lost” 2 husbands already) made up the main characters in this very strong cast.
Considering I had the audience member directly behind me who thought she should give a running commentary for those that didn’t understand and laugh at 100 decibels if any character so much as blinked, I think i managed to get all of the humour in the script and the physical stuff without being distracted too much,
The stylised form of acting and movement was certainly different if not exactly my cup of tea, but then, as the lady behind said in a loud voice for all the stalls to hear – not just once but at regular intervals ”this is SO fucking funny!” She obviously knows her stuff!
Cluedo is at Milton Keynes Theatre until Saturday 4th June
Box Office: atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes