On Oct. 17, the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre (RMTC) opened its 2023-24 mainstage season with a production of Clue, an adaptation of the classic board game-turned-movie. On Oct. 24, I attended a show with a packed house.
The 90-minute murder mystery comedy kept the crowd on its toes and had many audience members laughing throughout. With big personalities, Clue’s spectacle did not disappoint.
Among the highlights of the show was the enormous, showstopping turntable house, Boddy Manor, where the characters congregate for a mysterious dinner party.
The set design was incredible. The flooring was extremely reminiscent of the board game, and the mansion itself was a sight to behold. It was two levels, with a climbable staircase and multiple rooms, all with their own different colour schemes, furniture and feel.
Each of the well-known and beloved characters Mr. Green, Mrs. Peacock, Col. Mustard, Mrs. White, Prof. Plum and Miss Scarlet brought something unique to the table.
Reena Jolly, the actress who plays Miss Scarlet, said when she first heard about the role, she knew immediately she wanted to play her.
As a child, Jolly played the CD-ROM version of the game with her siblings, and she would be Miss Scarlet every time. She always loved how the character was “saucy” and “elegant.”
She remembered thinking to herself, “I don’t know what a ‘madam’ is, but she’s got sauce, and I want it!’”
When Jolly heard that RMTC was putting on Clue, she knew auditioning for Miss Scarlet “was a no-brainer.”
Jolly spoke about how the character resonated with her, exuding an eye-catching confidence that she admired and aspires to portray. To prepare for the role, Jolly said she really had to hype herself up and convince herself that “she is that girl.”
“I really needed to work on portraying and maintaining confidence,” she said. She emphasized that needed to be “an easygoing, not manufactured confidence.”
Jolly said she has many iconic figures she looks up to as role models for “it-girl energy,” including Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj and Rihanna. She said that watching and listening to them really helped to bring out that energy in herself, which then helped her channel that energy into the character.
Jolly is a former theatre student from the U of M’s Black Hole Theatre Company and said studying at the university has been invaluable in helping her develop the skills necessary to start taking on professional acting roles.
Initially, Jolly started taking theatre and acting classes as a GPA booster, but quickly fell in love with the art.
She did not know a lot about the technical and practical sides of theatre, but her studies at the U of M helped her become acquainted with them.
While Jolly went on to do another theatre program in Montreal, she said she learned things at U of M she was not taught in Montreal, such as how to conducting oneself in rehearsal halls and how to prepare for long days on the job.