Home   What's On   Article

Subscribe Now

Cluedo 2: Comedy and murder mystery combine for ‘riotous evening’





‘You’ll laugh till they die’, screams the tagline of Cluedo 2. The new comedy mystery play was written by famed sitcom writers Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran – who we spoke to recently – and is directed by Mark Bell of The Play That Goes Wrong fame.

Soon arriving at the Cambridge Arts Theatre, this family show, a touring stage play based on one of the most iconic board games of all time and set in the 1960s, stars Jason Durr as Colonel Mustard and Ellie Leach as Miss Scarlett.

Cast of Cluedo 2. Picture: Alastair Muir
Cast of Cluedo 2. Picture: Alastair Muir

Ellie, 22, who is probably best known for playing Faye Windass on Coronation Street – and also for winning the 2023 edition of Strictly Come Dancing with dance partner Vito Coppola – took over the role from Helen Flanagan, who was forced to quit the production due to health reasons.

Cluedo 2 marks Ellie’s stage debut. “The play’s going really well,” she says, speaking to the Cambridge Independent from York, the third stop on the tour.

“It’s so much fun, and I think that the audience reaction has been amazing.

“We had a show in York last night and the audience were great – and we had some amazing feedback and reaction, so I’m really enjoying it.”

Jason Durr, 56, whose numerous television credits include Midsomer Murders, Casualty and Holby City, notes that the cast have been “playing to packed houses”.

Jason Durr, Ellie Leach and Hannah Boyce. Picture: Alastair Muir
Jason Durr, Ellie Leach and Hannah Boyce. Picture: Alastair Muir

He adds: “It’s just the opportunity to bring an iconic board game to life and do what I like to call ‘the stage play of the game’ – and it’s allowed us to write a new narrative.

“So it’s a new story; even if you didn’t see the first one, you can come along and see this...

“It’s a classic whodunnit, and the voracious appetite of the British public for whodunnits is legendary – whether it’s Sherlock Holmes or Poirot...

“And it’s a comedy, which I love – there’s a lot of laughs. It’s both a very physical comedy, but also a laugh-a-minute type of thing. So for me it’s just the joy of getting back on stage and flexing my theatrical muscles again.”

From left, Edward Howells, Gabriel Paul, Dawn Buckland, Jason Durr, Ellie Leach, Hannah Boyce and Jack Bennett. Picture: Alastair Muir
From left, Edward Howells, Gabriel Paul, Dawn Buckland, Jason Durr, Ellie Leach, Hannah Boyce and Jack Bennett. Picture: Alastair Muir

Ellie, who started acting classes at the age of four to help build her confidence, admits that she was nervous at the start of the run.

“Obviously doing new things is very scary,” she says, “but I came into rehearsals and everyone is so lovely – the cast, the team, everyone really welcomed me with open arms.

“And I’ve learnt so much already – the cast are amazing, they’ve got so much theatre experience between them all, and working with Jason Durr who’s playing Colonel Mustard… they’ve taught me so much.

“I’m very excited to make my stage debut, especially with this play because it’s directed by Mark Bell who directed The Play That Goes Wrong, which is an amazing show, and also our writers Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran who wrote Birds of a Feather, Goodnight Sweetheart… they’re amazing writers. So I feel very lucky to be a part of the show and to have this as my stage debut.”

Coming in as a replacement for Helen Flanagan meant that Ellie, whose 12-year stint on ‘Corrie’ began when she was just nine years old, joined rehearsals a week after the rest of the cast.

“I was still doing the Strictly tour, at the same time as starting rehearsals for Cluedo,” she explains, “but I think that maybe coming in a little bit later, it didn’t give me much time to worry about it, or think too much about it, so I think actually it probably was a good thing for me.”

Echoing what Ellie was saying, Jason – who remembers playing Cluedo as a child growing up in Hong Kong – notes that it’s a “very tight company, who are all very, very funny”.

“In that sense it’s just a joy to do,” he enthuses, “because it’s a riotous evening’s entertainment.”

[Read more: Comedy masters Marks and Gran on Cluedo 2: ‘There’s no nudity, swearing or blood… but loads of murders’]

From left, Edward Howells, Dawn Buckland, Ellie Leach, Jack Bennett, Jason Durr, Hannah Boyce and Gabriel Paul. Picture: Alastair Muir
From left, Edward Howells, Dawn Buckland, Ellie Leach, Jack Bennett, Jason Durr, Hannah Boyce and Gabriel Paul. Picture: Alastair Muir

Cluedo 2 runs at the Cambridge Arts Theatre from Monday, 25 March, to Saturday, 30 March. Tickets, priced £25-£49, are available from cambridgeartstheatre.com and cluedostageplay.com.



This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More