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The Unholy Marriage of Slice and Sweetly review at St Matthew’s Church, London – ‘enjoyable, immersive murder mystery’

The Unholy Marriage of Slice and Sweetly at St Matthew’s Church, London
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Site-specific, immersive murder mystery company, ImmerCity, invites audiences to travel back in time to 1955 and the ill-fated wedding of Maud Sweetly to East End gangster Jimmy Slice.

Staged at St Matthew’s Church in Bethnal Green, the setting adds depth and grandeur, and is only occasionally waylaid by real-life church detritus becoming an accidental red herring.

The victim is Reverend Gris, officiator of said wedding, and through the otherworldly skills of the host for the evening – played with a great deal of charisma by Molly Beth Morossa – the audience becomes time-travelling, amateur detectives.

A promenade-style first half reveals family secrets and bubbling tensions, before attendees are given the opportunity to directly interrogate the suspects. Almost three hours later, with some small lags in pace, the murderer is revealed.

Attuned slightly more to murder mystery aficionados than immersive theatre devotees, the whodunnit itself is fairly complex; full of misdirects and clues to untangle.

Although at times some of the narrative strands get a little tortuous, whatever you throw at the performers they bat back with admirable improv skills. There are no weak links in the small cast, but particular highlights are Rebecca Crankshaw as the irrepressible mother-of-the-bride, and Lawton Charman as the groom, handling off-piste questions with impressively quick wits.

It’s worth noting that all of this happens in groups of six, which are created at the very beginning of the night and remain the same throughout. Audience members’ experiences will inevitably be heavily dictated by the tone of their group, and so this is a show best attended with friends.

Is immersive theatre growing up or growing too big, too quickly?

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An enjoyable, immersive murder mystery, elevated by a superb cast, that delights in its unusual setting