Join Igor and Drusilla, our hosts for this interactive mystery in the Wild West. Can you follow all the clues to find the guilty party? You and your kids will need to pay attention because, as we say in Scotland… "there's been a murder"!
Riding up to a motel in Ginger Creek, two cowboys, Hank and Sally, seek a bed for the night and stables for their horses. But they get much more than they bargained for when they find a dead body in their room (don't worry, in this age-appropriate show there are no actual bodies on stage). The only other people around are the Colonel who owns the motel and his secretary, Ms Ketch; everyone falls under suspicion, and the audience must help identify the guilty party.
This show does a really good job of keeping the mystery simple enough for all the children to follow, but interesting enough that you eagerly await the resolution. With just four characters in the mystery (plus two hosts), each is easily identified by a single prop – yet they're all played by just two actors, so there are plenty of laughs to be had as they switch quickly between their roles. The immense energy and slapstick comedy skills makes everyone laugh, and work very well with the simple staging and minimal props.
Ruthie Scarpino and Gabriel Spector are brilliant at getting the audience involved, and – particularly important for a children's show – are sure to give all of them the opportunity to take part. Where reading or writing is involved, it is well pitched to encourage without shaming children who were not confident enough to try. Using index cards to ask a question at the end is a clever way of allowing everyone to participate, without dropping the pace or inviting repetition.
There are a few points where the action lulled a little and children got restless – particularly in the first of the questioning scenes – but for the most part the pace is well-judged. The recaps of clues, the opportunity to ask questions and the visual support are all very cleverly done, to make it highly accessible to children without being tedious for adults. It's enjoyable for all.
This show is an imaginative and original piece, well-judged and light-hearted, fun for all ages. So put your thinking caps on and head to the Wild West, to see if you can solve the Mystery at Ginger Creek.