It’s 1936, you’re standing on the balcony of the Kookaburra Queen Paddleboat, enjoying the cool night breeze, the water lapping around the boat, and the sounds of cool jazz wafting up from the cocktail party down below. Suddenly one of the characters is murdered, the boat is crawling with detectives, and everyone is summoned to begin the investigation. Welcome to Immersive Theatre’s CLEUDO! The Interactive Game playing as part of the 2017 Anywhere Theatre Festival.
All the characters from the famous board game Cleudo are guests (and suspects) at the cocktail party, who throughout the night give backstory to their occupation and relationships between other characters. This is truly an immersive experience with the guests dressing up for the 1930’s era, mingling among the characters, dancing to the jazz band, playing cards in the drawing room, listening to the drunken Cornel Mustard’s fascinating adventures in Africa, or Professor Plum’s ramblings about archaeological trips to Egypt. If the fun and frivolity is too much, you could also just step outside onto the deck for a peaceful yet sparkling view of the city as the Kookaburra Queen cruises down the river. Even being a cold night edging onto winter, it was a pleasant evening and only a light jacket was needed if you were out on the deck.
All guests received a free glass of wine upon entry and there was plenty of finger food circling the room, although more variety would have been welcomed.
This would be a hoot of a night out with a group of friends or work colleagues but even the singles amongst us won’t feel alone as you can just roam the boat looking for the different characters who improvise with the other characters (or the guests), and then once the murder mystery part of the evening begins, everyone is broken up into teams and given a handy detective guide to help gather clues and solve the mystery of ‘who done it’, in what room, and with what murder weapon.
Here’s a tip: Use the earlier time in the evening to probe the characters and start gathering background information before the murder happens. You’ll also feel more involved as the event unfolds.
All actors took on their roles with great aplomb, but the stand-out performance was Zane C Weber as the very spirited (and drunk) Colonel Mustard, and Mrs White was utterly convincing as Mr Black’s German housekeeper.
CLEUDO! The Interactive Game is truly a unique theatrical experience and a great way to spend the evening. With such an enormous cast (characters, detectives, and musicians), and so well executed, it was a shock to see that the show, as part of the Anywhere Theatre Festival, has only two performances. Kookaburra Queen Cruises would be wise to make this a regular event.
Note: The boat waits for no one, so be there for boarding at 6:30pm. The cruise starts at 7pm and returns at 10pm. To book for the last performance on May 19, see the Anywhere Theatre Festival website.