Review: Cluedo 2 – The Next Chapter at Milton Keynes Theatre
Cluedo 2 - MK Theatre Review Apr 24

Cluedo 2 – The Next Chapter

Who isn’t familiar with the Hasbro board game Cluedo ? A classic whodunit set in a sprawling mansion beset with secret passages and sumptuous rooms galore, a variety of murder weapons and brightly coloured plastic pieces depicting our favourite characters, Colonel Mustard, Miss Scarlett, Mrs White, Mrs Peacock, Professor Plum and Reverend Green. Ah, the nostalgia.

Now whip this up some 75 years on, set it in the swinging sixties and invite Maurice Gran and Laurence Marks to write a brand new version for the stage. What do you get? A merriment of murder and mayhem is what!  Directed by Mark Bell and set design by David Farley, we walk into a real life Cluedo setting with characters colourfully and humorously brought to life with a witty twist.

Enter Rick Black, a fading rock star determined to try to revive a flagging career. With his guests assembled at his outrageously extravagant mortgaged to the hilt mansion, each one has purpose and motive for his demise. Led by Jason Durr as Colonel Mustard and Ellie Leach as Miss Scarlett, the cast burst onto stage and the drama unfolds. Rick Black is found dead, MURDERED by multiple means – shot, bludgeoned, stabbed, strangled ….what a way to go, but WHODUNNIT ? As the guests try to work out who, the bodies pile up and accusations fly.

Cluedo 2 Apr 24

Jason Durr & Ellie Leach. Photo Credit: Alastair Muir

We move from scene to scene, room to room by way of comedic set changes by the cast, playfully walking the galleried corridors with mime and hamming. Full of jokes, gags, cheesiness and downright corny, the repetition and confusion added to the jocular most cleverly.  Amid the japes we’re led on a quest to discover the murderer / s ( he or SHE ) but every hunch is second guessed by the next routine.

It’s a quirky mashup of lively players, effective arrangement and good old fashioned spoof, often quite pantomime, full of farce and exaggeration in full.

I personally thought Act 1 felt like the show was finding its feet moving slowly towards a slicker and smoother Act 2 which was extremely enjoyable.
The initial roam around the house was somewhat confusing and disjointed but once I ‘got it’, the absolute cleverness shone through.

The troupe looked like they were having a jolly good time and that was infectious, but for me, Mrs White stood out as the total scene stealer every time. Played by Dawn Buckland, the housekeeper was hilarious! There is a brilliantly funny scene involving wordplay, working the floor and a variety of baked goods… timing is and was everything.

Cluedo Review - Apr 24

Visit Milton Keynes’ reviewer Karen is on the case!

Overall, this take on the ever loved game transformed admirably onto the stage. As we all have preconceived imaginings of the game and the characters within, it’s a huge task to reinvent it pleasingly. From the audience reaction, I’d say that ambition was incredibly successful.

Fast paced and fun, when all is said and dunnit, it’s a cracking comedy caper! Obviously we didn’t guess Whodunnit but the final scene being a blast in itself, Cluedo 2 made for a cheerful chipper night at the theatre.

Cluedo 2 – The Next Chapter is at Milton Keynes Theatre 17th-20th April 2024.  Matinee performance is on 20th, and the running time is 1 hours and 50 minutes including interval. Tickets are available from £13.00 (+ £3.80 transaction fee), General bookings: 0844 871 7615, Access bookings:0333 009 5399, Group bookings:0207 206 1174 or online.



Some Fun Facts about Cluedo – courtesy of the programme blurb :

Cluedo was invented during WW2 by munitions factory worker Anthony Pratt and wife Elva at their dining room table in his home in Birmingham.
There have been 29 special editions of the game in shows such as The Simpsons, The Golden Girls, Harry Potter and Star Wars.

There are 324 possible outcomes of a typical game of Cluedo.

Over 150 million games have been sold worldwide.

Games company Waddingtons ( later owned by Hasbro ) bought the game from the Pratts for the grand sum of £5.000, around £150k in today’s money.
By luck or by canny judgement?

The house that inspired Anthony Platt can be found on the outskirts of Brighton, Tudor Close mansion.



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