Presented by Scriptease and Improv Adelaide
Reviewed 29 June 2017
There were a lot of deaths in the Harry Potter series but none quite so creative at Scriptease’s unscripted murder mystery, Murder At Hogwarts.
Celebrating a season of MidWinter Murders, Improv Adelaide is hosting some of the city’s best improvisation troupes, putting them to the test with interactive murder mysteries that pay homage to much loved film and television memories.
In the unlikely chance that you don’t know how improv works, the cast are set challenges and must enact a story without a script. They find out what’s about to happen at the same time as the audience because they’re all making it up as they go along. The random plot segues, absurd dialogue and unpredictable action makes for one hell of a funny night in the right hands.
With improv, every show is different for the audience and the actors, so the action is always fresh and often extremely funny. Scriptease is a prime example of how improv should be done.
Murder At Hogwarts sees six actors take on randomly chosen characters from the Harry Potter franchise. Like a game of Cluedo, the audience have to work out who the murderer is, where they killed their victim, and with what.
It’s a well-thought out game with host Marshall Cowan, who also got chosen to play Draco Malfoy, helping the audience to fill in their game cards and find the clues. Others in this entertaining ensemble are Claire Bottrall (Harry Potter), Jarrad Parker (Hermoine Granger), Elja Parsons (Minerva McGonagall), Curtis Shipley (Luna Lovegood) and Kirsty Wigg (Ron Weasley). The latter two, in particular, stole the show, with Wigg’s interpretation of hapless Ron being hysterically funny, and Shipley’s spaced-out Luna Lovegood giving a great number of belly laughs.
Scriptease has been around since 2013. They know how to work an audience, tell a tale and, most importantly, work as a well-oiled machine. They respond the moment one of the troupe steps in and changes the story’s direction. They don’t speak over each other or compete for attention. They are a true ensemble and, because of their mutual respect for each other, they bring on the laughs and have the confidence to turn a straight-forward tale on its head.
The performances are short in the current MidWinter Murders season at the Bakehouse Theatre, running around 1 hour only. Upcoming shows are:
- 13 July: Death in Devonshire (A Midsomer Murders murder mystery)
- 20 July: Disney – A Whole New Death (A Disney murder mystery)
- 27 July: Scriptease Kill Each Other (A Scriptease murder mystery) followed by an open mic improv session that anyone can join.
On 6 July, Improv Adelaide will be presenting improv troupe Changing Jennifers in Le Improv at La Boheme instead of at the Bakehouse Theatre.
For a short night of satirical, sensational and utterly silly laughs, the MidWinter Murders is sure to kill the winter blues.
Reviewed by Rod Lewis
Venue: Bakehouse Theatre, 255 Angas Street, Adelaide
Season: Every Thursday to 27 July 2017
Duration: 1 hour
Tickets: $10 all tickets
Bookings: http://bakehousetheatre.com or at the door if not sold out