Brisbane Immersive Ensemble is running a new season of the highly popular ‘Cluedo! The Interactive Game’ over at the Baedeker Wine Bar.
Based on the classic board game, it is written and directed by Immersive’s Artistic Director Xanthe Jones who also wanted to incorporate tropes of the murder mystery genre while making it fun and modern.
For those who have never participated in an interactive theatre experience before, Xanthe has some reassuring words: “It’s not interactive in the scary isolating sense. So when people think 'oh it’s an interactive thing, they’re going to get me up on stage', it becomes scary.
“But in our show you go along and it is basically as interactive as you want it to be. If you don’t want to play the game that’s fine, there’s a beautiful band, and beautiful food, and beautiful wine.
“But because it is such a relaxed environment when it comes to interacting, people find that they naturally just fall into a nice rhythm and end up having a really enjoyable time.”
“It has been interesting to see how far people will take the opportunity to interact with the narrative. In 2017 so many guests came up with theories about Miss Scarlett and Professor Plum being in cahoots that it inspired the writer to create a scene along those lines the following year.
“People get really into it, they hunt around with their phone torches and try to find hidden clues – of which there are actually plenty. Dressing the part really helps inspire them to just really let go of their own personality and create a whole new one because that’s really the fun of something immersive like this. Stepping back in time and with a new character for yourself as well as mingling with the six original Cluedo characters,” Xanthe says.
Baedeker Wine Bar first established in Fortitude Valley in 1909 is partnering with Immersive to provide the scene of the crime. “The visual aspect of the venue really adds to the immersive aspect of the show. There are some secret passageways and exciting elements to the venue.” the Director explains.
When discussing what inspired her to come up with the show, she says, “For a start I love ‘Cluedo’, it is one of those games where it’s always fun no matter who you play it with. I really like the idea of film noir and Agatha Christie novels and I love ‘Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries’.
“So what I really wanted to do was take all of those classic tropes of the murder mystery but really put it in a modern setting and throw in a bunch of commentary about feminism, classicism, gender, identity issues… A whole bunch of those things that come up in this show. To me it is really important to share a message; I feel there’s no point in doing any kind of art unless you’ve got something to say and its conveying your meaning and your message”.
Yet while a love for the genre informed the work, the Director’s ultimate goal is for those attending to have fun and maybe even make new friends. “There is a real sense of community and coming together especially when the interactive game begins and the Inspector puts everyone together and says 'It is up to you to protect our community', which I think is really nice as well.”