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Something new: a way with murder

Vanessa Yung

 

Picture the scene, if you can: you're in a restaurant in Havana, Cuba, in the late-1950s, dining with a colourful bunch including a Texan oil tycoon, a spicy diva and a corrupt general. Suddenly the sound of gunfire pierces the air and you realise the oil baron has been shot. Everyone present - including the audience - has a reason for wanting him dead. So, whodunit?

This is the question you'll be asked at Murder in Havana, a refreshing bit of dinner theatre that resembles an all-singing, all-dancing game of Cluedo, and was created by David Andrews, founder and director of Chunky Onion Productions.

"The audience is a part of the performance - there's a basic storyline, but there's a lot of [improvisation] and interaction. The story will go where the audience takes it," says Andrews, who is also director and scriptwriter of the show.

Clues are provided by a reporter chasing a big scoop, a mock Cuban newspaper distributed to the audience and various hints hidden throughout the venue.

"My main aim is to ensure the audience has a really good time. I'm not a theatre snob and just wrote a story which I think is very funny. The actors are all very talented and good at what we call close-up performing, as opposed to performing on stage. They will be sitting at your table and interacting with you," says Andrews.

Murder in Havana is for adults only and Cuban-style fancy dress is encouraged, but not mandatory. Chunky Onion has been performing the show at private and corporate events since March (type "murder in Havana" into YouTube for a taste) and its first five public shows will be staged between August 30 and September 28 at venues including the Foreign Correspondents' Club, Grappa's Cellar and Kowloon Cricket Club. For details, visit www.chunkyonion.com or call 2110 0014.

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