Bluebeard

Norwich Arts Centre

> Norwich Arts Centre

This promised to be an evening of unbridled intrigue, with a four-week teaser campaign, further clues on the website and the final pieces of this murder mystery revealed during the pirateutopia.org adaptation of Max Frisch's novella.

In actuality, I was rather underwhelmed. Admittedly, the idea was imaginative; one live actor interacting with 12 virtual counterparts, video footage on a giant curved screen to authenticate the action taking place in Switzerland, a sampled soundscape of voices and atmospheric sounds. But I wasn't seduced by these technological gimmicks and found the artfully out-of-focus shots and erratic synchronisation of the dialogue tedious at times.

The plot was gripping enough - voyeurism, jealousy, prostitution and, of course, a murder. And Patrick O'Connor as the accused Dr Felix Schaad convincingly portrayed an emotional range befitting a paranoid dipsomaniac - detachment, repression, repetition, resentment and disorientation.

The aggregate antagonism of Dr Schaad's other six estranged wives compounded his confused and contradictory state of mind to such extent that, despite being acquitted on the grounds of lack of evidence, he makes a capricious confession before lapsing into a somnambulistic state where past and present merge.

Perhaps it was just sour grapes that, regardless of having spent two frustrating hours navigating my way around the virtual web trail and locating 50 of the 66 keys, I failed to identify the murderer and remain baffled as to the motive. That said, it will appeal to any aspiring super sleuths amongst you and was more entertaining than playing Cluedo.

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