Brisbane review – Clue: Footlights have achieved a high standard
By Lilian Harrington
By Johnathan Lynn (Stage adaptation)
Additional Material: Hunter Foster, Sandy Rustin & Eric Price
Directed by Ashleigh Cates
Tin Shed Pavilion Theatre Phoenix Ensemble
Showgrounds James St Beenleigh
Season 5-8 October
Stay Classy Photographer: Luke O’Hagan
Footlights Theatrical is an inspired young theatre group of experienced players who move between various venues to stage their productions, depending on the type of show they are doing. Their most recent production is CLUE, based on the popular board game CLUEDO, which has been adapted from the cult film, and scripted for the stage by Johnathan Lynn, with additional material from Hunter Foster, Eric Price, and Sandy Rustin. Footlights director, Ashleigh Cates, assisted by Assistant Director Harley Roy, and her team of Creatives, explained how much effort and fun had gone into making this production happen, as they prepared for their performance at the Phoenix Ensemble’s Tin Shed Pavilion, in the Beenleigh Showgrounds. Clue is a very tongue in cheek comedy whodunit that keeps the audience laughing and guessing until the end.
The scene depicts an English mansion belonging to a mysterious mobster, Mr Boddy,(Sam McLaughlin) who seems to be shrouded in some sort of invisible cloud and turns up briefly only to be found dead soon after. He is not the only murder that occurs in the mansion at this dinner party, for both the cook and the maid are killed, but by who? What is behind this - is one of the guests the murderer? The lead cast all have experience and training in theatre skills and music performance and they make up the assembled guests who come to the mansion. These guests represent people from the community, all with one thing in common - they’ve all committed some kind of crime. The audience is left in a state of anticipation as the story unfolds and they seek to find the culprit or culprits for these untimely murders.
Wadsworth the butler, (Liam Mc Donnell) is the driving force in the play. He represents the typical English butler, upright and formal; Yvette the maid (Skye Lunar Fishpool), uses her physicality and skills to show flair and pizzazz as the sexy French maid with her own secret aspirations; Miss Scarlett (Jermia Turner) seems more interested in secrets than sex, Mrs Peacock (Genevieve Tree)who is the batty, neurotic, and hysterical church- going wife of a senator. Mrs White (Sandra Harman), morbid and tragic, who could‘ve murdered all of her five husbands. Colonel Mustard (played by the charismatic Caleb Holman) a puffy, pompous, dense, blow- hard military man. Mr Green (Ren Gerry) a timid, officious rule follower, who is both awkward and anxious. Professor Plum (Tristan Ham ) ,the academic Casanova who enjoys wooing women with his big brain …The leads are supported by the ensemble cast who either play multiple roles as required; e.g. the cook (Maegan Micola von Furstenrecht )who has a threatening presence, takes on other roles e. g. cop etc. along with Sam McLaughlin who also plays multiple roles.
This production has been thoughtfully planned out. There are many scene changes and these are made easier by the set designer Isaac Tibbs who has planned mobile flats to facilitate set changes for each new scene. Props are moved in and out easily and make changes fluid and smooth which doesn’t interrupt the flow of the scene. There are secret compartments and walls that open, plus good use of stage entrances and exits all-round the theatre, which created an interesting effect.
This isn’t a play for children because it goes very fast and the dialogue is slick and the content may be beyond many children. Footlights have achieved a high standard with Clue; it is a comedy I could see again.