Home » London Theatre Reviews » Cluedo 2 – The Next Chapter at Theatre Royal Brighton | Review

Cluedo 2 – The Next Chapter at Theatre Royal Brighton | Review

Cluedo, the board game, was invented by a British musician and munitions factory worker during World War 2, and launched in 1949, since when there have been 29 special editions, an ITV gameshow, a film, and a play, which I reviewed for London Theatre 1 in June 2022, and now a sequel, “imaginatively” entitled CLUEDO 2 by seasoned sitcom writers Maurice Gran and Laurence Marks (Birds of a Feather, Goodnight Sweetheart etc). This pleasant, unassuming, two hours of ‘nonsense’ has again been put into the directorial hands of Mark Bell who was responsible for ‘The Play That Goes Wrong’, in which several of the cast have also appeared. As one might expect from sitcom writers, the play is ‘structured’ in a series of short scenes, each of which takes place in a different room of the house where people seem to be continually murdered! Scene changes are choreographed to loud music whilst the actors move often quite heavy pieces of scenery and furniture across the stage, interrupting the flow of the play. Bell has got his actors to shout rather than project their lines which gets rather wearying as there is little or no light and shade. This also slows down the proceedings, which was even more obvious at the performance I witnessed where cues often seemed to be slow.

Cluedo 2 - The Next Chapter. Photographer Alastair Muir.
Cluedo 2 – The Next Chapter. Photographer Alastair Muir.

The whole cast works very hard to extract every ounce of humour from the writing.

Most successful is Jack Bennett as Wadsworth the butler – though we do get rather tired of him telling us that he is in reality an’ actor playing a butler’: this running joke is barely amusing the first time. Bennett uses his physicality with imagination and is always watchable, especially as his delivery of the dialogue is often effective. Hannah Boyce (Mrs Peacock) is also very personable, making the most of a role that has little or no motivation, and even convincing us that she is a larger-than-life “real” person – and, like Bennett, she does not shout her lines (except in whole cast scenes where everyone appears to be shouting)!!!

Dawn Buckland was amusing as Mrs White, the cook. It was a shame that, near the beginning of the play, where the ‘plot’ calls for a double so that she can rush backstage to appear elsewhere, the changeover was very obvious and the result not funny enough to warrant the business.

Jason Durr had some authority as Colonel Mustard and Gabriel Paul seems underused as Reverend Green whilst other roles were played by Tiwai Muza, who made the most of the secondary role of PC Silver, Edward Howells as Professor Plum, Liam Horrigan as Mr Black and Ellie Leach as Miss Scarlet.

David Farley designed both set and costumes, whilst Jason Taylor succeeded in designing a lighting plot in which actors’ faces seemed often to be in darkness.

Recommended to die-hard fans of the board game CLUEDO!

3 Star Review

Review by John Groves

Following the huge success of the smash hit original play, Cluedo is back with a brand new hilarious whodunit – CLUEDO 2 – The Next Chapter! Set in the swinging 1960s, we meet a host of new suspects, a new house, and lot of new bodies, in this all-new tale of murder, mystery and secret passageways.

The brilliant cast includes West End and TV star Jason Durr, whose numerous credits include leading roles in Heartbeat and Casualty, playing Colonel Mustard and award-winning actress and star of Coronation Street and Strictly Come Dancing champion, Ellie Leach, playing Miss Scarlett.

Book tickets for Cluedo 2 – The Next Chapter at Theatre Royal Brighton from Tuesday 19th March to Saturday 23rd March 2024.

Performances:
Tue – Sat at 19:30
Thu and Sat at 14:30

View All Shows at Theatre Royal Brighton
New Road, Brighton, BN1 1SD

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Author

  • John Groves

    John Groves studied singing with Robert Easton and conducting with Clive Timms. He was lucky enough to act in the British premiere of a Strindberg play at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe more years ago than he cares to remember, as well as singing at the Royal Opera House - once! He taught drama and music at several schools, as well as examining the practical aspects of GCSE and A level drama for many years. For twenty five years he has conducted a brass band as well as living on one of the highest points of East Sussex surrounded by woodland, deer, foxes and badgers, with kites and buzzards flying overhead.

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