Review: Cleudo 2 at Newcastle Theatre Royal

Review: Cleudo 2 at Newcastle Theatre Royal

Cluedo 2

Newcastle Theatre Royal

28th May 2024

The comedy is coming thick and fast at The Newcastle Theatre Royal this year. Tonight was a time for 60’s based farce in the form of a second instalment of a play based on the boardgame Cluedo written by Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran of Birds of a Feather fame. 

Jason Durr heads the cast in exuberent style as Colonel Mustard. He has a first name in this production which sounds like Dijon and that sets the tone for many verbal gags in the show. Joining the Colonel is Ellie Leach as Miss Scarlett, Jack Bennett as Wadworth, who is definitely not a butler, Kara Alberts-Turner as Mrs Peacock and an outstanding turn by Dawn Buckland as Mrs White, the cook.

There were some lovely gimmicks with the directing by Mark Bell and I was particularly impressed by the scene changes which were performed in over the top characterisation by the cast. The lighting too, designed by Jason Taylor was subtle but along with the set designed by David Farley took us around the board of the game as the characters appeared in the hall, the study, the billiard room, the dining room, the kitchen and the lounge.

The set appeared to be quite simple but there were lots of trucks and props to manoeuvre which the cast did with ease. There was even a stuffed bear to deal with and who quite rightly got a good round of applause at the end. 

The story revolves around the life and loves of fading rock star Rick Black (Lee Corrigan), his wife Mrs Peacock, with the introduction of various other characters to make for a somewhat convoluted story of murder, mystery and intrigue. The show offers a very pleasant and fun evening but some of the set pieces do seem a little dated and hackneyed in 2024. 

It is very clear that all the cast are thoroughly enjoying their time touring with Cluedo 2 and there are a few laughs to be had along the way and the audience this evening certainly enjoyed it. I just felt that the script fell a smigeon short in imagination and relied a little too heavily on well known pantomime gags and routines to really get into its stride. 

Nevertheless, it was an entertaining evening which brought a few laughs and hit the brief of what I was expecting. 

Cluedo 2 by Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran runs at the Newcastle Theatre Royal until June 1st.

Review by Stephen Stokoe

Photo credit Alastair Muir

*press tickets provided to attend this performance

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