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Review: CLUE Delights Edmonton

Review: CLUE Delights Edmonton

Don’t miss CLUE, The Citadel Theatre’s latest production! Performances run until August 7.

It is a dark and stormy night. Guests arrive at the formidable Boddy mansion at the cryptic request of an anonymous host. Unbeknownst to the eccentric partygoers, they have more in common than their strange circumstances and flamboyant attire. What begins as a tense but not unpleasant evening suddenly unravels as multiple people are found dead throughout the mansion. Something's fishier than the dinner of shark fin soup, and the horrified guests must identify the killer amongst themselves before tragedy strikes again.

Based on the 1985 film inspired by the popular board game, Clue is a madcap murder mystery starring seasoned performers and rising stars. Directed by Nancy McAlear, the production is a stylishly designed puzzle box of lavish interiors, trap doors, and precariously hung chandeliers. Its pitch-black humour and outstanding performances will delight fans of the game and film as well as those visiting the Boddy mansion for the first time.

The curtain rises on frazzled maid, Yvette (Christina Nguyen), harried butler, Wadsworth (John Ullyatt), and sinister unnamed cook (Maya Baker). They are soon joined by the absent Mr. Boddy's (Steven Greenfield's) larger-than-life guests. First to arrive is the pompous Colonel Mustard (Julien Arnold), followed by aloof widow, Mrs. White (Rachel Bowron), the glamorous Mrs. Peacock (Darla Biccum), the bumbling Mr. Green (Alexander Ariarte), egotistical Professor Plum (Doug Mertz), and sultry Miss Scarlett (Rochelle Laplante). Every performer disappears into their role, showcasing impeccable comedic timing and strong physical characterization. Among the most humorous moments are the group's frantic collective scrambles between rooms, abundance of dry one-liners, and a beyond exasperated Wadsworth's meltdown. Save for an out-of-left field ballroom dance scene, the plot clips along at a brisk pace and brims with heightening tension.

Clue unfolds across a simultaneously grand and claustrophobic set featuring a luxurious foyer framed by faded green walls and somber dark doors. Designed by Scott Reid, the set smoothly transitions into a regal dining room, opulent parlour complete with an old-timey fireplace and ornate blue sofa, an austere kitchen and an enviable closet-sized library among others. Leona Brausen's costumes play homage to the characters' names and aliases while Allison Lynch's whimsical sound design and original orchestrations add additional charm. The creative elements, combined with a top-notch cast and direction, result in an escapist whodunit and an unmissable night of theatre.

Clue plays at the Citadel Theatre's Shoctor stage until August 7.

Photo by Nanc Price for the Citadel Theatre's production of Clue (2022), featuring (from left to right) Rochelle Laplante, Rachel Bowron, Alexander Ariarte, Darla Biccum, Julien Arnold, and Doug Mertz).

From This Author - Sarah Dussome

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