Was it Professor Plum, in the conservatory with the candlestick, or Miss Scarlett, in the billiard room with the dagger? Dust off your trench coat and polish that magnifying glass – Brisbane Immersive Ensemble is bringing Cluedo! The Interactive Game to life at Baedeker on Saturday 8 December.
Reading Nancy Drew religiously as a child, when the opportunity arose to become a real-life detective (without the bother of prison sentencing or actual murders hanging over my head) I jumped at the chance. Christmas themed? Even better.
If you are wondering how a board game transforms into a real-life mystery, let me explain. Cluedo! The Interactive Game is part-immersive theatre, part-1930s cocktail party, where the audience shapes the production as much as the actors. In fact, the audience is not the audience any more – they don the same hats as the actors, engaging in an immersive evening of twists, turns, melodrama and bloody execution. Collectively dinner guests are called upon to collect clues and solve the crime.
The scene of the scandal is Fortitude Valley heritage gem Baedeker Wine Bar, and even before you step through the front door, you will fall back in time to another world, one laced with political propaganda, handwritten letters and glamourous inherited luxury despite the Great Depression, all to the tune of smooth jazz. Dresses are adorned, suits are fitted and millinery is expected. Baedeker provides the perfect setting for an exquisite estate, complete with The Drawing Room and The Conservatory, and hidden passages in between.
And the characters. Flawless in their delivery, the ensemble camouflages among the crowd of diners. Truly immersive, you will find yourself chatting to the crew without realising, believing every word of the story line they are concocting. There are moments of romance, rage, melodrama and pure joy, all laced with hints of blood in some way, shape or form. And if you are thinking “I’m going to make these actors crack” I wish you luck – this bunch is seamless. In fact, I recommend leaving your glowing transmitter device at home so as not to confuse the 30s clan and donning long sleeves as short sleeves were reserved for kids in that era. If mysteries are not your thing, simply go for the music – the band alone is worth the ticket.
Do I have any tips to conquer the game? Listen. Very carefully. But do not forget to enjoy the show – after all, someone will not make it out alive.
Dress up and become a member of high society this weekend to unmask a murderer, complete with decadent Christmas feast, unlimited drinks, jazz band and sprigs of deadly mistletoe decking the halls of Baedeker.
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