The mysterious murders of Clue

Off-Centre Players' latest production opens at Centre 64 in Kimberley.

The cast of The Off Centre Players’ production of Clue. Straight to the comedic heart of murder most foul!

Sandra Albers

You’ve played the board game. Maybe you’ve seen the movie, circa 1985. But you’re in for a real treat if you attend the Off Centre Players stage adaptation of Clue at Centre 64 in Kimberley.

Director Joseph Pereira (who previously directed Don’t Dress for Dinner) has assembled a delightful cast of more than a dozen actors from Kimberley, with a few from Cranbrook thrown into the stew for good measure.

Clue plays Wednesday, Oct. 17 through Saturday, Oct. 20, with curtain time at 7:30 p.m. nightly. There is an additional matinee performance Sunday, Oct. 21 at 2 p.m.

With a clever two-room set that extends right into the seating area, the audience will feel like they’re right in the thick of this murder mystery. Or should we say multiple murder mystery, since there are more than a few bodies sprawled about before the curtain falls.

The play opens with a foreboding soundtrack, but quickly devolves into funny. Very funny. Laugh-out-loud funny. There are lots of great one-liners and plenty of physical comedy too.

If you think you might have trouble keeping the large cast of characters straight, here are a few, er, clues.

Sioban Staplin as Miss Scarlett is dressed in, naturally, scarlet, which is appropriate, since she seems to run a house of ill repute. Jane Foreman as Mrs. Peacock wears a scarf and hat that resemble the feathers of a, you guessed it, peacock. On the other hand, Katherine Shuflita as Mrs. White is clad all in black, a reference to her role as the black widow.

Thom McCaughey as Col. Mustard, Wayne Keiver as Professor Plum and Adam Tomlinson as Mr. Green all sport ties that match their monikers.

Patrick Baranowski as Wadsworth the butler (mmm, did the butler do it?) and Elli Gillen as the fetching French maid Yvette have costumes that suit their professions.

And Ray Gareau as Mr. Boddy sticks to a classic dress-for-dinner suit.

Rounding out the cast (some taking on several small roles as well as doubling up as members of the backstage crew) are Nathan Hilton, Mike Park, Jennifer Morgan, Tylene Turner, Viola Hine, Sydney Andrews and Blair Shuflita. Their roles range from cop to cook, singing telegram girl to hippie evangelist, plus a stranded motorist.

There are some truly strong performances from the seasoned actors in the cast, and great work, too, from the younger emerging talent.

The plot of Clue essentially revolves around a blackmail scheme. A number of guests have been invited to a drinks and dinner party by a mysterious host. They are asked to use pseudonyms.

But who is the blackmailer? What are the secrets that the various characters are trying to conceal?  And, as the bodies pile up, audience members will be asking: Was it Col. Mustard? In the billiard room? With a candlestick? Or could it be Mrs. Peacock? In the kitchen? With a lead pipe?

Mind you, unlike the board game, there is more than one murder to solve here. There are also assorted inter-connections between the characters, which I won’t spoil by revealing here.

Adding to the fun are secret passageways, much to-ing and fro-ing between the two rooms on stage (not to mention the half-a-dozen doors), and many things that go bump in the night.

The action is set in the Washington, D.C., area against a backdrop of 1950s McCarthyism, which just might be a clue in itself.

Personally, I’ve always been a sucker for a good murder mystery. When it’s leavened with comedy, like this production of Clue, it’s even better.