Review: CLUE

by Lynn on March 25, 2024

in The Passionate Playgoer

Live and in person at the Grand Theatre, London, Ont. A co-production with the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre. Playing until March 31, 2024.

Based on the screenplay by Jonathan Lynn

Written by Sandy Rustin

Additional material by Hunter Foster and Eric Price

Based on the Hasbro Board Game Clue

Original music by Michael Holland

Directed by Dennis Garnhum

Set and costumes by Brian Perchaluk

Lighting by Kevin Lamotte

Cast: Sharon Bajer

Petrina Bromley

Rosie Callaghan

Kamal Chioua

Beau Dixon

Alex Furber

Jesse Gervais

Toby Hughes

Reena Jolly

Tracy Penner

Derek Scott

Rosalie Tremblay

It’s a dark and stormy night in 1954, in Boddy Manor not too far from Washington, D.C.

Wadsworth (Jesse Gervais) the butler welcomes six strangers to the house: Mrs. Peacock, Mrs. White, Colonel Mustard, Mr. Green, Miss Scarlet and Professor Plum. They are all being blackmailed and the person who invited them knows a dirty secret about each of them. Some appear to know some others or the staff of the manor. That too is a mystery. And then people begin to be murdered, in various ways, and in various rooms of the house.

Ah the house. Brian Perchaluk has designed a multi-roomed two story house that is so huge that it must fit on a revolve and turned in order to see the many and various rooms. There are secret nooks and crannies in the walls, the corners, the ceilings and elsewhere to hide the dastardly murderer.

Director Dennis Garnhum has a dandy bit of business at the beginning so that the audience can get the full measure of the house. Wadsworth, the deep voiced, smooth butler, played with elegant haughtiness by Jesse Gervais slowly leads the assembled guests from one room to the next, opening doors to each room, while the revolve turns slowly. No one speaks which would pull focus from the trick of the turning house to reveal it’s size. When the rooms have been revealed, then the talking begins.

They all have something to hide and do their best to hide it. Mrs. Peacock is flighty and ditsy as played by Sharon Bajer. Mrs. White is condescending as played by Petrina Bromley. Colonel Mustard is strapping but not too swift as played by Beau Dixon. Mr. Green is played by Toby Hughes as lively in an effort to cover up something he wants to hide. Miss Scarlet is strikingly sophisticated as played by Reena Jolly, and Professor Plum is played with understated composure and confidence by Derek Scott. Jesse Gervais as Wadsworth deserves special mention for a scene of extended milking that to say more would give away a surprise.

The clues come fast and furious.  The people are murdered at a startling rate. The house revolves. The delivery is deliberately declarative suggesting urgency or just an impish way of sending it up but still being serious. It’s funny and really well done.

 A co-production with the Grand Theatre and the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre.

Plays until March 31, 2024

Running time: 90 minutes.

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