Park Theatre, London – until 27 July 2019
Last night I had the great pleasure of seeing Whodunnit (Unrehearsed) at the Park Theatre. Today my mouth feels a whole lot wider from excessive laughing and smiling. That is a thing right? Aching mouth aside, this is a much needed dose of pure silliness.
You get the sense that the wonderful permanent cast (Will Barton, Lewis Bruniges, Natasha Cottriall, Candida Gubbins, Omar Ibrahim and Patrick Ryecart) are having the time of their lives. Thriving on the uncertainty of not quite knowing what each guest celebrity inspector will bring to the show. While the timetable for the celebrity guests is a closely guarded secret (the cast themselves don’t know until the day of each performance) I’m hoping it isn’t giving too much away to say that my inspector was played by the wonderful Damian Lewis.
Random aside, but I can help wondering if there is someone out there closely monitoring Twitter and ticking off the guests as they perform, trying to work out who they’ll get towards the end of the short two-week run. Let’s face it, it wouldn’t be the strangest thing happening online.
Written and directed by Jez Bond and Mark Cameron, Whodunnit (Unrehearsed) has been created as a fun and engaging way to raise money for the Park Theatre. The Park Theatre is a lovely space, if you haven’t been, you really should check it out. They get no Arts Council or local council funding, so events like these provide the much needed money they need to not only run a first-rate theatre, but also provide a lot of great opportunities for young people in their local community.
The show itself is so joyfully playful, I’d defy anyone not to laugh. Seriously, it’d be a tougher challenge than not licking your lips while eating a heavily sugared doughnut. It is basically a gloriously entertaining joke that the audience is in on.
I won’t say more, because (a) I don’t spoiler things at the best of times and (b) it is pretty important that the celebrity guests have no idea what they are letting themselves in for. All I’ll say is that Lewis is a brilliant sport and seemed to be enjoying himself. I added “seemed” purely because he is such a talented actor, for all I know he was screaming inside and is now in an emergency session with a therapist.
I must confess that I was clapping and whooping with the best of them when Lewis was revealed as our inspector, dignity be damned! However, I will say that the show is designed in such a way that you’ll have a great night no matter who you get. So if you’re sobbing into your tea because you had your heart set on getting the lovely Damian, fear not, there is still a long list of eye-wateringly fabulous celebrities waiting in the wings. Bond is clearly very well connected, or has a terrifying amount of blackmail material on the London thespian community.
At time of posting there were limited tickets left for a few of the matinee performances, otherwise most performances are sold out. However, everyday at 10am a small number of £10 day tickets will be released online and on the phone. I suspect extreme speediness will be required to secure them, but it’d be well worth the adrenaline rush.
And for any of you reading this review with the hope of getting a clue regarding whodunnit – you know the type of people who have a sneaky read of the back of a book (why people,why?) – all I’ll say is…….when you’re laughing that hard, does it really matter?