Sunday, 24 August 2008

Cluedo Solves Youth Theatre Crimes

Edinburgh Fringe 2008

Youth productions cannot always be depended on for a strong cast with the ability to entertain. I went into 'Cluedo' unaware that it would be a youth production, but as soon as I became aware I became uneasy. This cast however, pulled out all the stops and I felt it was an hour and a half well spent in their company.

'Cluedo' was a musical take on the popular family board game, with all the traditional characters as suspects of a murder, being interviewed by a mysterious Inspector Cluedo. The musical infused creativity with existing well known musical numbers, pulled from their original shows and given a new and interesting home. This was an effective tactic, and songs such as Reverend Green 'Poisoning Pigeons in the Park' and Colonel Mustard enjoying 'P-O-S-H Posh', and it allowed the actors to suplement their characters with a musical background of types. The recurrent chorus number was Chicago's 'Cell Block Tango' which worked particularly well with the spotlight and freezeframe system of the interviews.

The actors themselves, though some notably amateur, others were rather impressive. The cockney Mrs White, the american Cluedo and Colonel Mustard all sported brilliantly maintained accents congruent with their acting ability, and Professor Plum and Reverend Green contrasted just enough to show the well capable merits of both actors.

With a larger venue and audience, this show really could have a good future. Keeping many members of this cast could even work long term, though as a performer myself I am always amazed when half the cast do not realise the importance of smiling graciously when being applauded. Anyone who is in Edinburgh, this production is definately worth your time and money.

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