Everyone loves a good murder mystery. The suspense. The clues. The red-herrings. And while the original popular and celebrated Cluedo board game first appeared in 1950, 'Cluedo! The Interactive Game', brought the much-loved classic back to life in an immersive and unforgettable experience.
The Brisbane river glittered hypnotically like an emphatic Mardi Gras parade as guests boarded The Kookaburra Queen, and were greeted by a three-piece jazz band and 1930s decor. The perpetually intoxicated colonial imperialist Colonel Mustard stumbled around uttering drunken salutations, accompanied by his glamorous cast mates and fellow suspects, hilarious housekeeper Mrs White, hypocritical Reverend Green, femme fatale Miss Scarlet, stylish and suspicious Mrs Peacock, and the exuberant Professor Plum. But where was Doctor Black? Dead!
Upon arrival, all guests were given coloured pins and divided into groups. They were then assigned to a typical English bobby inspector (complete with accent!), each tasked to aid the groups with their quest to use their deduction and reasoning to solve the mystery.
While the initial kick-off of the game was a little slow, once the Kookaburra Queen began its travels down the Brisbane River, the mystery-solving aspect of the game became excitingly interactive, with everyone given a notebook to jot down clues and suspects. This was a great way for guests – many whom were strangers – to socialise in order to solve the crime.
The attention to detail was superb – small areas within the boat boasting an intimate poker game, a library, a drawing room, a sitting room, a bedroom – just like the original game, however, the band was too quiet, the microphone signalling directions often hard to hear. Thankfully, the band, as well as the talented singers, were impeccable, succeeding to immerse the audience in the 1930s setting.
The show's pacing was spot on, allowing guests the opportunity to mingle with others, enjoy drinks and hors d'oeuvres, while also solving the murder mystery and bringing the killer to justice. As the guests traipsed up and down the stairs, some teams rushing to solve the mystery, others merely enjoying the experience, the atmosphere was both jovial and laid-back, illustrating the enormous effort and preparation undertaken to give the attendees the best experience possible.
Highlights of the night were Zane C Webber as the insatiable Colonel Mustard (who managed to remain a convincing drunk the entire night), and Thomas Hooley as the effervescent and quick-witted Professor Plum. As the night drew on, it was almost comical the way the actors playing the English bobbies went to such lengths to stay in character while chaperoning the increasingly drunken and vivacious crime-solving guests.
With entertainment, wine, and a race against time to solve the crime, 'Cluedo! The Interactive Game' was an amazing success and testimony to the superb talent and imagination of Anywhere Festival. The show was innovative, creative, and set a new benchmark for the possibilities of what the festival can offer in the future.
The only thing left to do is dust off the board game and continue the fun!
'Cluedo! The Interactive Game' plays Anywhere Theatre Festival until 21 May.