CLUEDO

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THEATRE / THEATRE ROYAL BATH

REVIEW: CLUEDO, THEATRE ROYAL BATH – ‘CLASSIC, FUN, SILLY AND CAREFREE’

By GILL KIRK, Tuesday Apr 26, 2022

If you want a classic, fun, silly and carefree night at the theatre, you must catch Cluedo at Theatre Royal Bath this week. It’s tight, funny and represents the best of theatrical comedy. In fact, it’s a brilliant ensemble piece in every way, dancing wittily over standard theatre-comedy set pieces (in one door, out another; slo-mo; chaos; confusion) with a style guaranteed to tickle the fancy of even the grumbliest of us on the trickiest of days. In short – before I give you the detail – I urge you go and see this show.

If you know the ‘80s Tim Curry movie Clue, you know the rough plot. It’s a Cluedo game come to life: on a stormy night, in a dark mansion (billiard room, library, study), strangers assemble in response to a strange invitation to dinner. Their instructions demand they all use an alias (Miss Scarlett, Colonel Mustard etc), and on arrival, each is given a boxed gift (candlestick, rope, lead piping…). And I’m sorry about this spoiler, but then there’s some murder.

Every element of the production hits the mark, and gives you the gift of childish joy at what the team is treating you to. David Farley’s set is nothing short of ingenious, as rooms appear, distant doors connect and there’s no doubt at all that you’re right inside the Cluedo mansion. Jon Fiber’s sound and Michael Holland’s music are a gory-glory of mischievous menace. Anna Healey’s movement direction, along with Mark Bell’s overall direction, is sublime: slick, silly, and seriously impressive.

Which brings us – of course – to the performers. What a team. While Michelle Collins (Miss Scarlett) gets top billing, she’s one great part of a truly excellent ensemble of equals. Special mention, however, must go to Jean-Luke Worrell who plays Wadsworth – the Tim Curry butler role. Not just perfect, but an utter joy. With the advantage of being the only character that isn’t a hundred per cent howling stereotype, he carries it off with knowing and cheeky delight.

Tom Babbage’s Reverend Green will steal your heart (and delivers a chandelier-near-death slo-mo that will stay with me for life); Daniel Casey’s Professor Plum and Wesley Griffith’s Colonel Mustard will make you giggle. Mrs Peacock (Judith Amsenga), Yvette (Laura Kirman) and Mrs White (Etisyai Philip) are all comedy goddesses, rounding out their respective roles with energy and wit. Meg Travers and Harry Bradley complete the ensemble in a range of roles (a brilliant ‘Mr Body’ and wonderful Cook, but that’s not all).

In short, this is how it should be done. Here’s a great troupe of entertainers – on and offstage – making a large room of people laugh. Get yourself a ticket and give yourself a treat.

Cluedo is at Theatre Royal Bath on April 25-30 at 7.30pm, with 2.30pm matinee shows on Wednesday and Saturday. Tickets are available at www.theatreroyal.org.uk.