Review: A Highly Suspect Murder Mystery at theSpace at Surgeons Hall – Theatre 1- Ed Fringe

Reviewed by Natalie Low

How confident are you in solving mysteries? If you see yourself as the next Sherlock Holmes, then this would be the show for you. The moment you enter, you are greeted by these characters. As the audience is filing in, they are making conversation, dropping hints. We’re told that we are in Egypt, and you look over to the stage and there is no set. There is also no lighting involved – everything is all based on your imagination, and what these 4 characters are going to tell you. We have entered an alternate version of Indiana Jones and there is a problem: They have found King Tut’s tomb, and the curse is in effect! The show begins and we are introduced to our characters – all named through puns. We find out that the rich ‘Doug F’Treasure’ has been murdered and the 4 characters in the room are the suspects. One by one, the characters go on stage to introduce themselves, and their involvement in the King Tut expedition.

The costumes are simple yet effective, a trench coat for the detective, a hat and ropes for their Indiana Jones, a rainbow-striped suit for the rich owner of the Sphinx’n’Kinx museum, and an elaborate flower patterned scarf and a turban for the slightly crazed historian who had warned everyone from the beginning about this cursed adventure. The storyline is fairly simple, but the kicker is when the 4 characters tell you, its now up to us, the audience, to solve this mystery.

You’re made to get into groups and a packet of information is given to you. Puzzles to solve, messages to decipher, and even a limerick to write! This show covers all the bases for the sleuth wannabes in the audience. There’s a front row of young teenage boys who are absolutely lapping all of this up, enthusiastically decoding every message, and scouring through all the photo evidence to come up with the best theory of who killed ‘Doug F’Treasure’. The energy is palpable within the room as people start to get competitive. The time for discussion within your group takes up almost 45 minutes, with the characters occasionally stepping in to provide a little more clues for those who are struggling a little more through the mystery.

The ending of the show is when the audience votes on who they believe is the suspect, presenting their theories, all before the real killer steps up. It is a shocking reveal to some, while others gloat to their friends that they solved this mystery earlier on during the show.

One might wonder if the constant going up and down the stage was really necessary for each of the characters, and if they could afford to stay on stage a little longer. The team of Highly Suspect have created a great and comfortable atmosphere for this interactive detective mystery. It is overall a fun ride all around, and especially fun for families and friend groups all around. Try your best not to come alone!

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