It all starts with the announcement of bad news: There has been a murder! Who is the person that has been murdered? What was his or her job? What did he or she get killed with?
With nothing but these three simple questions to the audience, The Chandeliers set the frame for a murder mystery that will develop step by step from there. Whatever the audience comes up with, the cast will make it work. And they have to because they never know what they will get.
Martha That-Will-Do. Lollipop lady. Murdered with a rhino horn made in China. That was the opening scenario the audience came up with at yesterday’s Crime Scene Improvisation show. No challenge at all for the cast who jumped straight into their roles.
An animal therapist that also does therapy sessions for lollipop ladies, a rhinologist, a female teacher in their sixties that pretends to be in her late twenties… the cast definitely didn’t lack ideas to fill their performance with the most hilarious characters. They all came together on the zebra crossing in front of Brighton’s School of Rhinos where detective David Davis started his investigations.
Why is there water dripping from the ceiling? Why is the “h” in “school” missing on the sign at the entrance to the building? Why is there a goldfish in the light bulb on the street? So many weird questions to start off with.
From there on, the six actors developed a murder investigation performance that had the audience laugh from the first minute onwards. Developing their roles and the relations between the different characters on the go, the actors delivered an impressively consistent comedy performance, showing their capability to adapt to unforeseen turns in the action within seconds.
And the audience surely didn’t make life easy for them when they questioned the suspects, paying attention to the tiniest details and forcing the actors to come up with hilarious excuses and explanations. Along with the funny names, the absurd scenario and the great comic performance delivered by the actors, it was these improvised revelations that kept the audience laughing throughout the entire show. It all added up so that, at times, the actors themselves seemed close to laughing.
So who killed the lollipop lady in the end? The decision was up to the audience, making Crime Scene Improvisation the probably only murder investigation show where the murderer is chosen by public vote. And of course, the newly elected killer came up with a stunningly comical confession.
Taking into account every single remark made by the audience and not missing out on a single detail, the cast definitely kept the promise it had made at the beginning: every show is unique and will never be performed in that way ever again.
‘C.S.I: Crime Scene Improvisation‘ produced by the The Chandeliers at the Warren.