Cluedo! The Interactive Game
17 April – 25 May, 2019
Baedeker Wine Bar, Fortitude Valley
$79 (without dinner package) / $109 (with dinner package) + booking fee
Was it Professor Plum, in the Drawing Room, with the Candlestick? Or Miss Scarlett, in the Conservatory, with the Revolver? The classic board game Cluedo comes to life in the shadowy corners and secret passageways of Baedeker Wine Bar, and attendees are drawn into the thrilling swirl of secrets and scandal of the glamorous guests.
Brisbane Immersive Ensemble present a truly immersive evening of music, merriment, mystery, and murder, placing audiences at the heart of the action in the classic Cluedo murder mystery. Brisbane Immersive Ensemble specialise in interactive, immersive theatre and reality gaming experiences, and they created a wonderful theatre space, organised enough that the audience did not feel overwhelmed or uncertain, but open and interactive enough that they felt free to explore different personas for themselves as well as to interact with the cast of larger-than-life characters.
Brisbane Immersive Ensemble director Ben Lynskey said audiences can influence the outcome of Queensland’s largest immersive theatre experience just as much as the actors. “There are frights and fights, sexual tension mingling with nail-biting suspense and lavish costumes, combining with a cast of experienced actors, to provide an unforgettable night out,” he said.
Brisbane Immersive artistic director Xanthe Jones said Cluedo! The Interactive Game was more than just a theatrical re-imagining of the classic board game. “We want guests to feel like they are a VIP member of 1930s high society, so we have made sure every element works together to create an immersive world,” she said. “Guests are encouraged to dress the part so when they step through the doors of Baedeker and start exploring its secret passageways and grand ballrooms, they truly feel as though they are stepping back in time.”
I’d never been inside the Baedeker Wine Bar before but this heritage building, built in 1909, was the perfect place for this performance with its exposed brick walls, velvet and leather lounges, secret passageways…you certainly felt transported to another place and time. I’d absolutely recommend you dress up (dust off that Gatsby costume we all bought some version of in 2014, or pop into one of Brisbane’s awesome op-shops for a glamorous look on the cheap).
Audience members are welcomed as guests to the lavish event by their host, the enigmatic Dr Black (Colin Smith), and are free to explore his magnificent house and mingle with his other wealthy and well-travelled guests including New York novelist Madame Peacock (Elizabeth Best), archaeology expert Professor Plum (Joel O’Brien), recently-widowed Miss Scarlett (Geena Schwartz), German housekeeper Mrs White (Jessica Kate Ryan), soft-spoken Reverend Green (Tristan Teller), and whisky enthusiast Colonel Mustard (Zane C Weber). Just like in the board game you probably remember playing, a terrible crime is committed at the height of the party. The audience join forces to search for clues, interpret evidence, interview suspects, and ultimately bring a murderer to justice.
The characterisations were fantastic without being overdone, from extravagant costuming (by Kaylee Gannaway) to accents and affected mannerisms. A live jazz band also played throughout the night, further adding to the palpable atmosphere, and many of the actors also showed their skills in singing.
The staging of the performance was cleverly done, shifting through spaces and with action happening in several places at once, which made it more fun to piece together the stories and secrets with your team as you tried to deduce who could have committed the crime. I also understand that the murderer/weapon/location combo changes for every performance, so you could go on multiple occasions and have completely different experiences.
Tickets are available through Eventbrite and further information is available through Brisbane Immersive’s website. This event is 18+.