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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Going Undercover with Spontaneous Theatre at the Citadel...

It's really fun watching a murder mystery when even the actors onstage don't know how it will be solved... solving it is almost entirely up to an audience member turned Rookie Detective (on our night - Jason, a trainer at a tech company), who is brought into the story and who literally guides the investigation.

The first act is primarily the set-up. The cast (six gifted improvisers playing multiple roles) meet for a private art auction (the rookie detective is sent in 'undercover' for police business) in a remote country home. There are obvious tensions between certain characters, conversations to be overheard, snooping to be done, and clues discovered, and then... there's a theft and a murder! The second act is where the rookie detective must lead the investigation - they choose who to question, which rooms to explore, what questions to ask and inevitably reveal 'who done it'.

For the rest of the audience, it's like watching a person solve an escape room, and even when they miss important clues it's hilariously fascinating. A smugness when you see or notice something they didn't and lots of laughs when they do something totally unexpected and you watch as the group of six gifted improvisers literally make it up on the spot to deal with what's thrown at them.

Now, our guy didn't get it right - he got part of it, but not all of it - but it was sure fun watching him and the cast. My husband was very happy, because apparently he did solve it (he saw a lot more than I did), and even though he 'knows what happened', he's heading back with our son this weekend to watch it again with a new rookie detective. He's hoping he'll get to see some of the scenes we missed out on the first time and he wants to see if our son can solve it.

Undercover runs to April 29 at the Citadel Theatre. Click here for tickets.

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