Inside Outside Theatre Company takes murder mystery parties to a new level with their interactive production of Full Steam Ahead, in which the audience is asked to gather clues, interview suspects, and decide who they think did it and why.
Audience members meet a colourful cast of characters as they witness the events leading up to the murder – a rich Duchess and her indulged niece and nephew; a jilted lover; a charming card sharp; and a Major in the British army.
Set around a train journey from England to Biarritz, France, in 1936, the performance brought up residual schoolyard rivalries, family tensions, unreciprocated declarations of love, and a missing suitcase. After they had witnessed the events prior to the murder, the audience was encouraged to form teams and pore over the clues, as well as interact with the characters, who were all suspects in the crime. As amateur detectives, we could also ask for assistance from the French Inspector/MC.
The performers did a fantastic job of staying in character and answering questions, as well as casual audience interaction and aside during the performance portion, although the fake accents occasionally made it difficult to understand in the echoing space of the Spring Hill Reservoirs. The archways of the reservoirs also worked well to invoke the arches of a London train station in the 1930’s.
It took a while to feel comfortable with the interactions, but by the end of the production all detective teams were talking excitedly, discussing their evidence and theories, and questioning the suspects carefully. The show concluded with the dramatic revelation of the true ‘whodunnit’, à la Sherlock Holmes, with the Inspector unravelling the motives and the murder by excusing the innocent until only one suspect remained. and the announcement of the team that had deduced the murderer and their motives correctly.
Very engaging and entertaining, Full Steam Ahead will let you put all the knowledge you’ve acquired watching crime shows to good use and have a great time with new people along the way.
Please note: It gets quite cold underground, especially if you attend the double bill with The Ballad of Rose Quinn, so dress warmly. Unfortunately, there is no disabled access in this venue.
InsideOutside Theatre Company performed Full Steam Ahead at the Imperial Hotel, Eumundi on May 11 and 19 at 7pm for 7.30pm, including a two-course dinner, and a promenade performance at Spring Hill Reservoirs on May 18-20 at 8.15pm. Read more on the event page.
Review of May 20 performance.