Thrilling and hilarious Cluedo is a killer production for Milton Keynes Theatre

Most of us will have spent countless hours playing Cluedo over the years – but can a classic board game be translated to the stage successfully?

Tuesday, 31st May 2022, 11:27 pm
The cast of Cluedo
The cast of Cluedo

That’s the mystery I was looking to unravel at Milton Keynes Theatre on Monday evening with the help of those familiar characters, Miss Scarlett (played by EastEnders’ Michelle Collins), Professor Plum (Harry Bradley), Colonel Mustard (Wesley Griffith), Mrs White (Etisyai Philip), Mrs Peacock (Judith Amsenga) and Reverend Green (Tom Babbage).

Cluedo opened in January at Bromley’s Churchill Theatre and is touring theatres across the country until the end of July. My advice is to catch it while you can, as it was hilarious.

We’re transported to a country house on a dark and stormy evening, as one by one the main protagonists arrive and discover they have all received the same intriguing invitation from Lord Boddy who intends to blackmail them.

Wadsworth, the butler, played by Jean-Luke Worrell

The doors are locked, the windows barred and the dogs are patrolling outside so the group are trapped and are forced to see how the evening will play out.

After a rather brief dinner, they all receive a boxed gift which turn out to be a variety of familiar weapons. Not long after that the body count starts to rise and the finger pointing begins as everyone panics over who’s going to be next to meet a gruesome demise.

Given murder is on the menu, it’s rather startling at how often the characters appear to misplace the candlestick, revolver, lead piping etc - which leaves everyone wondering just really who did do the wicked deed each time.

Star of the show is undoubtedly Wadsworth, the butler, played by Jean-Luke Worrell, who led the other characters a merry dance around the mansion. There were many memorable moments, but the scene near the end where he did a complicated and high-speed recap of the evening’s events in attempt to help everyone figure out the truth was inspired.

The cast of Cluedo

The set design was extremely clever, with Wadsworth grabbing, pulling, spinning sections of scenery to quickly transform the stage into locations such as the dining room, library, billiard room, study and so on. There was even a secret tunnel as per the board game.

The action turned almost panto-like at times - perhaps not surprising given the spoof is directed by Mark Bell (The Play That Goes Wrong) - with the characters racing around the mansion in pairs trying to find the evidence Lord Boddy has gathered against them as the hysteria grows.

Rev Green was another favourite character of mine, but he didn’t have much luck. He was involved in a bit of slapstick doorway pain, had a brilliantly slow motion chandelier collapsing on him and was also pinned to the floor by a dead body dropping on him.

Thumbs up too to Mrs Peacock who strutted around trying to keep calm and Colonel Mustard who, murder aside, said he’d enjoyed the company of his fellow guests!

I obviously can’t spoil the fun by giving away any more of the plot, but suffice to say this was a killer production.

Performances at Milton Keynes run until Saturday (June 4). Tickets via 0844 871 7615 or ATGTICKETS.COM/MiltonKeynes