• Tue. Nov 28th, 2023

‘An unabashed, hilarious triumph’ ‒ Cluedoc review

ByElla O'Neill

Apr 7, 2019

We all know the familiar family board game Cluedo with its main characters Plum, Scarlett, White, Mustard and Peacock. Whodunit and with what weapon we ask ourselves! The fifth-year Medic Musical Cluedoc took this framework to new heights as it moved the action into the operating theatre. The focal victim: Doctor Body. 

The story follows Doctor Inspector (Kate Johnson) and her sidekick Student Inspector (Serena Linley-Adams) as they attempt to uncover the culprit of the murder of Doctor Body (Rory Weir) in his own hospital. With six suspects in the room at the time, the action plays out through a series of flashbacks as the Inspectors try to piece together the events that led up to the crime itself. Through interviewing each character we see friendships and relationships unfold. Everyone’s pasts seem to intertwine and all appear to have a possible motive. Nothing can be certain and everyone is under suspicion. The tension builds until the final climactic song ‘Guilty’ upon which the truth is uncovered.

Cluedoc was an unabashed, hilarious triumph. The premise was an original musical, based on a much-loved murder mystery, supported by instantly recognisable songs with a medical twist. The audience was entertained by classics such as ‘The Room where it Happens’ and ‘Ward Block Tango’, drawing inspiration from such musicals as Chicago and Hamilton. The nod to the student lifestyle was appreciated by all as evidenced by the collective laughter that erupted when the familiar sight of Hive appeared on stage, accompanied by a rendition of ‘Hive Till Five’; a clever choice by the director to draw the audience in. 

The performances of all the lead actors were extraordinarily accomplished, the dynamic between them is both enlivening and entertaining. Each had strong vocals in their solo songs, and collectively they were even more impressive. The cast was supported by a large chorus that worked seamlessly to help the leads create even more of an impact. Humorous dialogue flowed into farcical, character-driven dances, particularly in the morgue scene in which actors emerged from body sheets and the autopsy Doctors showed their love for the job. This was offset comically by the horror and disgust patently clear across the Doctor Inspector’s face.

The production definitely delivered on its promise of a full-on Murder Mystery Medical Musical, covering all these aspects to great effect. The musical itself was formed as a way to help the charity the Scottish Association of Mental Health. It is clear from the sold-out performances that they certainly succeeded in their endeavour to create an entertaining evening not without an important significance.

Pleasance Theatre
Run ended

Image: Derrik Ng

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