Murder at the Match – A World Cup Murder Mystery

Canadians in Qatar

Reviewed by Mary Alderson

So you’re a big soccer fan – or should I say football – but you just can’t do the trip to Qatar to see Canada compete at the World Cup. Well, no worries, you can just go to the Globus Theatre south of Bobcaygeon and enjoy that World Cup atmosphere.

Murder at the Match – A World Cup Murder Mystery runs until November 26 at the Globus and takes you directly to the games. All the attendees at the murder mystery dinner theatre are in the Canadian pavilion in Qatar. Excitement is on the pitch, with Canada’s first appearance at the World Cup in 36 years.

The play is written and directed by Artistic Director Sarah Quick who manages to blend mystery and comedy together in all her dinner theatre murder mysteries. As usual, the dinner is delicious, with generous portions, and plenty of selections from which to choose. Actually, the serving staff seems quite happy to pile a scoop of everything on your plate.

The characters (in this play there are six, but we only meet five in the first act) come around to the guests’ tables to introduce themselves, while delicious canapés are being served.

Steven Spurs (Chris Gibbs) is the CTV sports reporter covering the World Cup for Canada. He was once a footballer in the English Premier League, but came to Canada to play for Toronto FC. His real claim to fame is that he was once married to Sassy Turlington (Jennine Profeta). She is Canada’s Minister of Affairs, Trees and Sports that are not Hockey. She is enjoying the junket to Qatar, not worrying about the way she is lavishly spending taxpayers’ money.

She likes flirting with Diego Marrydora (James Barrett), who is a former star for the Canadian team. He played 1989, the last time Canada went to the World Cup. Diego is originally from South America, but came to Canada for the soccer and apparently was once a tall, dark and handsome heart-throb.

The hardest working guy among these characters is Jamie Hussles (Dave Pearce). Due to a lack of funding for soccer, he is forced to carry out many roles. He is Team Canada’s physiotherapist, nutritionist, photographer, sports therapist and team mascot, which is, of course, a busy beaver. We also meet Randy McReddies, agent for many of the top players, or so he says. He ran into trouble a few years ago in a gambling scandal. But now he is about to book the best player in Canada, taking him from Oshawa Athletico to the big times.

In Act Two we meet the up-and-coming star, Ronald O’Messi (Jaxon Blacklock). This young performer truly is a future star – whether he chooses to pursue soccer or acting. It’s a delight to watch his footwork as he takes the ball around every table in the dining room, and his skills with keep-ups is amazing.

So, without spoiling the show, I can tell you there will be one or two murders, and four or so suspects. Audience members fill out forms stating how the murders happened, and whodunit. Pay close attention to everything the characters say and do – you will be tested on it!

Throughout the show, the audience is treated to excellent improv, making use of the some of the old favourites that always get a laugh. If you’re a fan of the TV show “Whose Line is it Anyway?”, you will love these bits. A three-headed expert is consulted about soccer, when an unsuspecting guest gets encouraged to come forward. With an actor on either side, they answer questions with each of the three adding one word to a sentence. As the so-called experts blend a disjointed sentence together, it can’t help but be funny. In another improv trick, a character is being questioned about the murder. To answer, he picks up an audience member’s cell phone, and responds by reading out random texts. When the team beaver mascot is cross-examined, he says it’s not fair because he can’t gesture and use body language due to the large paws he is wearing. So an audience member is recruited to stand behind him with her arms instead of his showing, and do his gesticulating for him. It’s hilarious.

This is a seriously funny cast, who stray from the script when there’s an opportunity for humour. There are many laugh-out-loud moments, and even those of us who aren’t well versed in soccer can enjoy the fun. I can confidently say that a good time was had by all. Well, except for the dead bodies left behind.

Finally, here’s one more good reason to travel to the Globus Theatre, rather than go all the way to Qatar. Globus Theatre has a well-stocked bar, just waiting for you to purchase a refreshing drink. I hear you can’t do that in Qatar.

Murder at the Match continues at the Globus Theatre, Lakeview Arts Barn near Bobcaygeon, until November 26. Tickets are available by calling the Box Office at 705-738-2037 or 1-800-304-7897 or visit https://www.lakeviewartsbarn.com/globus-current-season

Photo: Former soccer great Diego Marrydora (James Barrett) is interviewed by CTV sports reporter Steven Spurs (Chris Gibbs) just before an epidemic of murders breaks out at the World Cup. Photo by Rebecca Anne Bloom.

Murder at the Match
By Sarah Quick
Directed by Sarah Quick
Performed by James Barrett, Jaxon Blacklock, Chris Gibbs, Kerry Griffin, Dave Pearce, Jennine Profeta.
Globus Theatre, Lakeview Arts Barn, Bobcaygeon
November 17 to 26, 2022
Reviewed by Mary Alderson

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