‘The Unholy Marriage of Slice and Sweetly’ review

Theatre, Interactive
Recommended
4 out of 5 stars
The Unholy Marriage of Slice and Sweetly, 2019

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

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Enjoyable immersive murder mystery show, set in the ’50s East End

London immersive company ImmerCity returns with its fifth production, ‘The Unholy Marriage of Slice and Sweetly’, which follows previous events at Kensington Central Library, the London Museum of Water and Steam and Vine House.

Set in 1955, at the wedding of East End gangster Jim Slice and his beau Maude Sweetly, the show is centred on the unsolved murder of Reverend Gris, who was fatally stabbed before the ceremony took place. Thrown into the mix are betrayal, deception, smuggling, blackmail, wartime secrets, and the tensions between two feuding families, all played out moments prior to the bride’s arrival.

The location for the doomed wedding is St Matthew’s Church in Bethnal Green, which functions as a perfect, real-life backdrop to the promenade, site-specific immersive storytelling. Cleverly blending local historical fact with fiction, the action takes place in three-hour-long sections: in the first, the audience are voyeuristic guests at the fateful wedding, watching the characters set the scene prior to the Reverend’s death; in the second, we work together in groups of six as intrepid investigators trying to solve the murder; in the final part, the characters reveal the truth and the mystery behind the murder is uncovered.

With its Agatha Christie-style plot and heightened drama, the dialogue is occasionally a little over the top, but the innovative theatrical/interactive murder mystery format is engaging. The audience-as-detectives middle section was especially thrilling, and the cast were superb, staying in character as one-by-one they were thoroughly grilled for clues. There was a real intimacy in those solo-cast moments, which contrasted the more distanced group performances in the opening section, and often the result was hilarious as well as exciting; it was an amusing challenge trying to gather evidence as to whodunnit. The camaraderie in the cooperative teamwork by the audience was also unexpectedly delightful, and made solving the mystery together thoroughly enjoyable.

Whilst all of us guessed the murderer, there were enough red herrings, rabbit holes and wild theories thrown into the mix by ImmerCity to keep us on our toes, and with this fun, multi-genre approach to immersive theatre, it’s a hugely entertaining way to spend the evening.


BY: ZOE MARGOLIS

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