Interactive online murder mystery comes to Oldham Coliseum

IT is up to you to figure out whodunnit in Oldham Coliseum Theatre and Front Room Production’s digital murder mystery, Whodunnit at the Coliseum? running online from Friday April 9 to Sunday, April 25.

Set in the historic Oldham Coliseum Theatre in 1954, on opening night of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, audiences will meet members of the theatre’s audience and staff before the show. When the Front of House Manager Mr Fitch is found dead moments before curtain-up everyone becomes a suspect.

Photos by Joel Chester Fildes

Audiences embark on a journey around the theatre using a bespoke game board, discovering each suspect’s connection to Fitch in an attempt to decipher who the culprit is.

Part promenade theatre and part digital Cluedo, Whodunnit at the Coliseum? features ‘50s inspired musical numbers and video game-esque interactivity, fusing nostalgia with modernity to create a production the likes of which the historic theatre has never seen before.

The production takes place digitally via a bespoke website, offering people the opportunity to return to the theatre for the first time since March 2020 without physically leaving their homes.

Action takes place all around the Oldham Coliseum building, taking viewers to familiar spaces including the bar and the foyer, plus rarely seen backstage areas.

Victoria Brazier, Chris Jack, Mick Liversidge, Claire-Marie Seddon and Riana Duce (Photo by Joel Chester Fildes)

In theatrical superstition Shakespeare’s Macbeth is said to be cursed – known as The Scottish Curse – forbidding the mention of the play’s title or lines outside of rehearsal or performances lest something terrible happen.

In real life, in 1947, Oldham Coliseum Theatre saw one such incident when actor Harold Norman was accidentally stabbed on stage during a performance of Macbeth. Norman died from his injuries weeks later in Oldham Royal Infirmary.

With its setting in 1954, Whodunnit at the Coliseum? takes place ominously on the opening night of the first production of The Scottish Play since the terrible incident.

Photos by Joel Chester Fildes

Whodunnit at the Coliseum? is written by Alice Barber, Olivia Race and Claire-Marie Seddon. The production is directed by Olivia Race, with original musical arrangements my Claire-Marie Seddon, Alice Barber as Creative Producer and design by Celia Perkins. The production is filmed by Grant Archer with web design by James Clare and graphic design by Ria Barnes.

This production is supported using public funding by Arts Council England.

Tickets cost £12 for a single player or £20 for a household. Find out more and book online: www.coliseum.org.uk

Front Room Productions creates high-quality theatre for unusual and unexpected locations, through promenade, interactive and immersive performance. Find out more: www.frontroomproductions.co.uk/

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