Friday, 9 August 2019

EDINBURGH FRINGE REVIEW: Agatha is Missing! at the Gilded Balloon Teviot

Agatha Christie is missing promises an interactive murder mystery but this is very different to the successful improv murder mystery show "Murder she did not write" as the interactivity involves dragging a succession of audience members on stage to be interviewed by Clarissa Marbles, an elderly spinster type trying to solve the mystery of Agatha's disappearance. The problem is that most of us already know although she famously disappeared in December 1926 only to reappear eleven days later so wasn't murdered so the whole exercise seems fairly pointless. 

Each victim from the audience is asked to explain some murder weapon or read aloud a note found and while they characters appear to be based on real life acquaintances of the writer, the audience members have very little knowledge or information to contribute. Occasionally they do manage a quick response to get a laugh but it is left to Clarissa to react and keep her story on track. It is a hit and miss affair. Golf clubs, a cat, hedgehogs, poison bottle, knife and knickers are produced as potential murder weapons for the murder that has not happened. 

The script is littered with innuendo about pussies, buttering your crumpet and passion for donkeys which get an embarrassed titters from the audience many of whom are hoping not to get selected to go on stage to face the interrogation. 

The show grinds to a halt when we are asked to write down who dunnit and some of the responses are read out usually with a modern day reference like Brexit that gets a laugh but has absolutely nothing to do with the show ! Thankfully Agatha herself appears to sort out the mess.

It is a bizarre 50 minutes and while I can admire the actress's bravery in performing such an odd show a cross between stand up, improv and Cluedo it was at times a difficult show to be an audience member of and I longed to escape to another show.

Review by Nick Wayne 

Rating: ★

Seat: Unreserved | Price of Ticket: £10
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