Arriving in the auditorium for Murder She Didn't Write, we are faced with a classic murder mystery drawing room, complete with chaise longue and patterned carpet: Cluedo just found its place on the stage. In fact, Murder She Didn't Write and Cluedo share more than just a macabre interest in unexpected deaths; they also both incorporate an element of mystery. The murderer, chosen by means of a pack of cards, hides amongst the characters to whom we have just been introduced. But here, instead of needing to guess the culprit, it is the players' job to make a reasonably well constructed story explaining how the deadly turn of events came about. The audience chooses the setting (we had a Comic Con), an object (for us, a cheese fondue) and a characteristic for the object (for us, high quality cheese), and the actors do the rest…
The story which was created off the cuff by the actors hung together pretty well and there were lots of funny improvised jokes. The use of callbacks, even to audience suggestions which had in the end been rejected, was particularly impressive. The actors obviously have a good rapport, and played off each other with ease. The best performance has to be that of Peter Baker, who was hilarious and quick-witted (and beautiful) as Mrs. Violet, complete with full drag make up. The compere
When I went to see Murder She Didn't Write, it was a special Edinburgh fringe late-night mix-up performance, for which the players were not in their usual clothes - they had swapped parts. I'm afraid this perhaps hindered the show instead of adding anything; the actors tended to rely on easy jokes related to the switch (erections are hilarious, right?) which got slightly boring, and did at times feel a bit messy.
When this show comes to the North Wall in October it will be back to normal, with the actors playing the roles they have rehearsed. Indeed, the show will never be the same twice, so go along if you want to take a gamble! It's a solid concept for an evening of murder and giggles.