Review: Solve-A-Long Murder She Wrote at Tyne Theatre
Solve Along Murder She Wrote – Friday 23rd June
Returning back to one of my favourite North East Venues, the Tyne Theatre and Opera House, we went along to watch Solve Along Murder She Wrote. I really had no idea of what the evening would entail. When we entered the theatre we were equally shocked and delighted to see so many people adorning Jessica Fletcher T Shirts and masks- this clearly wasn’t their first rodeo!
This evening promised to host a hilarious night of games, prizes and audience participation and clearly has fans all across the UK already. Niche audience you may say? However, I have only ever seen a few episodes of this as my Mam had watched them throughout the years and I had a wholly wonderful experience. You can certainly see why this critically acclaimed show was rated one of Time Out’s 50 Great Nights out in London. It’s not only traveled throughout the U.K but Australia too- this is where our host for the evening was from.
Murder She Wrote is such a cult UK classic and Angela Lansbury truly is an absolute treasure throughout the U.K and I know many people were devastated about her passing in October. It is a really hilarious and touching tribute to all of her wonderful work. As we walked into the theatre everyone was handed a goodie bag with props we would need during the show. Great mementos to keep afterwards too.
This interactive screening was all based on the episode “Sing a Song of Murder” where Jessica visits London, home of her Music Hall star cousin Emma, who was also played by Angela Lansbury. Our job was to figure out WHODUNNIT?! Now, for the super fans this may have been easy as this is obviously an old episode which people may have already watched. I had never seen it before so I was ready to solve the crime! This tour has done the rounds for many years however, the episodes always change which keeps it fun and interesting! I do believe the format stays the same however.
Tim Benzie was our host for the evening and has to be one of the biggest super fans out there! He was such a wonderful host from the off and had us belly laughing throughout. I don’t know if it’s the Australian accent or the fact he was dressed as Jessica Fletcher throughout the night which made him extra funny. I particularly loved his CLUElottes… comedy gold. He does have a potty mouth and does swear which is probably why there is an 18+ warning on this show. He really did have the audience eating out of the palm of his hand and his interaction with us was just brilliant. It really was like watching a stand up comedian.
He engaged with the audience so much throughout the evening and kept getting the house lights on. This was managed perfectly by the team at Tyne Theatre and Opera House which he praised for being an all female tech team, girl power!!!
The evening did compromise by basically watching an episode of Murder She Wrote with “pit stops” as he described them! Throughout these “pit stops” we played a variety of crazy games! Including our first stop, the Fameometer. As a 90s baby, I honestly had no idea of any of them but it was interesting to learn about the special guests of the show. We had to vote on how famous they were so I honestly just guessed! After the Fame Game we moved onto the Suspiciometer where we had to use our goodie bag for this one! Everyone had a paddle with Jessica Fletcher’s face on and every time anyone did anything suspicious we had to wave that paddle to move them up the board.
My particular favourite part of the evening had to be Tim’s reactions and imitations of some of the horrendous accents used throughout the episode. Honestly, there were some absolute stinkers. How does a character go from Scottish to Yorkshire in one sentence? Truly impressive!
The Cabot Cove quiz was also brilliant and basically a glorified version of Heads or Tails. This brought us to the end of the first half which was an hour and twenty minutes long. The second half is much shorter at half an hour long! I don’t know if I’ve ever known a second half of a show to be so short. The second half of the show started with a raffle with themed Murder She Wrote prizes – think coasters, mugs, souvenir programmes. Everyone had a raffle ticket included in their goodie bag!
They kept it short and snappy as we were finding out the killer – once we had the EPIPHANY of WHODUNNIT we popped our party poppers which was brilliant and really united the crowd. We ended with a mass singalong to the theme tune which he had cleverly written lyrics for. The super fans definitely knew this word for word.
Overall, a brilliantly hilarious evening which was made even better by the Santa Clause doppelgänger howling throughout behind me.
It will be returning to Newcastle next year so I would definitely recommend it for a laugh a minute evening. Totally ridiculous but totally brilliant!
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