⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ – laugh-out-loud funny and a joy to watch!
Note: This review is for the UK Tour 2022 of Cluedo.
Was it Miss Scarlet, with the revolver in the dining room, or was it Professor Plum, with the lead pipe in the library?…
Based on the classic detective board game and the hit 1985 film CLUE, the brand new stage play of CLUEDO is on stage at the Alexandra Theatre this week. Directed by Mark Bell, director of the award winning The Play That Goes Wrong and A Comedy About A Bank Robbery, we follow the story of Miss Scarlett (Michelle Collins), Professor Plum (Daniel Casey), Colonel Mustard (Wesley Griffith), Mrs White (Etisyai Philip), Mrs Peacock (Judith Amsenga) and Reverend Green (Tom Babbage) who are mysteriously invited to a country manor by Lord Boddy. Greeted by the butler, Wadsworth (Jean-Luke Worrell), a Boltonian maid with a fake French accent (Laura Kirman) and the cook (Meg Travers), secrets are slowly revealed as people start to be killed off one by one.
It’s a stellar main cast, each of whom bring their own incredible talents and exaggerated characterisations to the stage, and the ensemble is equally as good – both Meg Travers and Harry Bradley were hilarious in their multiple roles. They are a joy to watch individually and as group, and every single element of their performances was slick and on point. Except, when the fake moustache of the policeman (Harry Bradley) fell off during a scene with Wadsworth, and what followed was some expert improvisation between Worrell and Bradley that was even funnier than some of the scripted parts.
Holding the story together, revealing the rooms and plot development was the utterly incredible Jean-Luke Worrell in a standout performance as the butler, Wadsworth. Mesmerising from the first line of dialogue, Worrell captivates the audience by his very presence, channeling a Tim Curry-esque smile and delivery of certain lines of dialogue while making the role very much his own.
For anyone who has seen The Play That Goes Wrong will note the similarities in style and slapstick comedy. The undisputed king of this is Tom Babbage as Reverend Green, whose physical comedy throughout had the audience rolling with laughter in their seats, and his slow motion performance when a chandelier falls on him was so good that it prompted an appreciative round of applause.
Fans of the film with also be delighted with the references throughout – particularly watch out for Etisyai Philip’s fabulous delivery of Madeline Kahn’s iconic (and improvised) “Flames… on the side on my face.” Hilarious.
The set, while initially appearing to be a simple hallway, contains intricate panels that are opened to reveal different rooms and these are used to give the sense of a never-ending series of different locations in a very clever way.
Cluedo is a classic whodunnit with a twist and then some. I loved it. It’s fun, silly, laugh-out-loud funny and full of energy right from the beginning.
An absolute must-see!
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Image credit: Craig Sugden