“Clue” Review


Anagha Dogiparthi

Cast of Clue

Anagha Dogiparthi, Op-Ed Editor

As I got out of my car on Friday night, the anticipation to watch Wilcox’s recently debuted play Clue was gnawing at me. How was I supposed to keep track of all the actors and characters, while also taking notes for my article? 

I was still battling thoughts such as these when I first saw the remarkably on-theme decorations surrounding the lobby of the theater. The decorators definitely did not hold back– the lobby featured a mug-shot station, fake blood splattered everywhere, bright yellow caution tapes plastered on the windows, and a suspect map on the far right wall. 

Slowly taking in my surroundings, I made my way to the theater– constantly checking the time to see whether the play was going to start soon. As the lights dimmed and Vice Principal Niczwicz took the stage as a remarkably dressed groundskeeper, I knew I would not be disappointed.

As the play progressed, filled with timely sound effects, appropriate jokes, excellent costume designs/changes, and color effects, my initial theory still had not been defeated. My nerves spiked and flatlined along with the plot twists, and the actors did a great job of convincing the audience of their supposed innocence.

Now, I will be addressing its plot, the role of the actors, costume design, and appropriately timed jokes– all of which contributed to the high quality of the execution. 

Directed and produced by English and Theater teacher Claire Robson, Wilcox High School’s execution of Clue is a comedic take on the popular murder mystery board game (also called Clue). One dark and stormy night in 1954, six strangers find themselves invited to a dinner party at Boddy Manner. None of these characters know of each other’s identities, as they are all under ambiguous aliases: Colonel Mustard, identified by his bright yellow attire, Mrs. White, identified by her B&W attire, Mrs. Peacock, identified by her turquoise attire, Mr. Green, identified by his distinctive green attire, Professor Plum, identified by his vivid purple attire, and Miss Scarlett, identified by her flashing red attire. While at this dinner, all six of them are introduced to the host, Mr. Boddy’s steward: “Wadsworth.” Other prominent characters included the Cook, the Maid (Yvette), the Motorist, and the Chief of Police– all of whom were wrapped up in the debacle before they even understood what was going on. During this strange encounter, Mr. Boddy blackmailed all of his guests into murdering his steward as part of a “game” to protect their dirty secrets. Throughout this process, people are killed, and plenty of insanity ensues. At face value, the plot seems convoluted enough to eventually become uninteresting. However, the excellent acting, costume design, and appropriately timed jokes made it captivating enough to be truly worthwhile.

The first point I would like to draw attention to is the clever costume design and corresponding lighting done by the Tech Team and the Costumes/Hair/Makeup Team. For each unique alias associated with a specific color, the costume designers were able to assemble jewelry and clothing that matched their personality and hidden identity. For example, Mrs. White’s mysterious and aloof character is directly connected with her fancy attire and seemingly high-end jewelry. Without knowing her entire backstory, viewers already understood what kind of person she was. Additionally, Mrs. Peacock’s literally “loud” clothing, complimented with a peacock-feather adorned hat, perfectly encompassed her bossy mannerisms. Along with these on-theme costumes came perfect lighting when it was each character’s time to shine. When each person was presenting each scenario of who murdered the innocent victims in their own perspective, the backdrop conveniently changed colors based on who was speaking– an example being turning red for Miss Scarlett. Although it was a minor detail, it was enough to enhance the ambiance of the set.

The next point includes several enticing factors: namely, excellent script writing, acting, and musical effects. Fast forwarding to the end of the play, when each character is presenting their theory for who murdered the innocent victims, viewers could truly see themselves in the perpetrator’s shoes and understand their motivations for the murders. The actors for each character were able to channel their characters in a way that left the audience wondering how hard it would be for them to get out of character– that’s how dedicated they were to their roles. Of course, the aura was lightened with the amusing quips coming from Miss Scarlett and other characters, as well as the attempts of Professor Purple to woo Mrs. Peacock (who is supposed to be happily married). The tech team, sitting toward the back of the theater, played ominous music where appropriate and added color-based lighting to the props to emphasize the different “colors” of the suspects. 

Although these are only some of the scenes and points that showcase the talent of the Wilcox High School theater team, the play as a whole was more than a good experience. I originally thought that it only took excellent acting to make a good play, but the contributions from the sets, tech, stage, sound, and lighting teams helped me realize otherwise. Overall, I highly recommend watching other productions by the Theater Team in the future– keep a lookout for Dracula coming in the Spring!