Clue On Stage

Date 10th March 2022
Society Early Doors Productions
Venue Brentwood Theatre
Type of Production Play
Director Amy Clayton

Report

Author: Zahna Hull

Wow! If you have seen the classic film ‘Clue’ with Tim Curry you may have an idea of what to expect and you may think that an amateur production might not live up to the same standard but this play did not disappoint. Amy Clayton’s love of the original film was evident in the presentation. The set was intricate, representing an old country house. Different areas of the stage were lit when the action moved from room to room. The entire stage was used and it became easy to suspend your disbelief with the excellent miming of doors, the door-bell, secret passages and even the dog! The set was well dressed and the props were excellent, even down to the slurpy soup and the questionable looking … Stew? Costumes were on point and inspired by the movie.

The plot was complicated and with three possible outcomes it certainly kept the audience on their toes. Six characters have pseudonyms based on the board game Cluedo; Colonel Mustard, played by Ray Johnson, Mrs White by Amy Clayton, Mr Green by Ben Martins, Mrs Peacock by Julie Salter Professor Plum by Darren Matthews and Nicole Campell-Booth played Miss Scarlet.

Each person had been invited to a country house where they were met by the Butler, Wadsworth, played by Justin Cartledge, and a maid, Yvette played by Jen Bell. The final cast member is Mr Boddy, who is blackmailing our characters and ends up dead himself… more than once. Joseph Fitzpatrick is billed as playing with Everyone Else; he does play Mr Boddy but also other characters who end up dead during the play! There was another character who doesn’t seem to be named in the programme and this person played appeared in a black morph suit – adding to the mystery.

Every single character in this production was well observed and immaculately portrayed. The combination of music, lighting and the stage presence of the cast led to an entertaining and hilarious evening. The attention to detail and the accurate choreography of the cast for the many set pieces was impressive and reminiscent of the movie. In fact, I heard the audience members around me discussing and comparing scenes and they were equally enthralled. The stage presence and diction of each character was of a high standard and the timing and pace was excellent. I must highlight Justin Cartledge who as Wadsworth led the cast not only around the set but through the plot. Justin’s characterisation, voice and demeanour set the pace and tone for the show. There were several laugh out loud moments.

It is hard to find any areas for improvement. I had a little issue with lines of sight but I was in the front. I think sitting further back would have given me a better view. The lighting, on the whole, was very good but once or twice an actor lost their light; this really is nit picking because the technical details were very well executed.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my first visit to Early Doors and I very much look forward to future productions. Thank you for inviting me.