Coming off the back of our very first virtual interactive mystery play experience by Sight Lines Entertainment, my husband and I caught wind of this other murder mystery play organized by The Theatre Practice. My colleague recommended it to us and we ended up joining another two colleagues as a team of 3 since there was a discount on bundled tickets.
The play revolves around a mysterious house that women from different time periods can come to seek refuge in. However, as we’ve all learnt from countless reality TV shows, putting a bunch of women in close living quarters never bodes well. Soon, much squabbling ensues and someone ends up dead. Through the course of the play, eyebrow-raising secrets are revealed or hinted at, and our job as the audience is to find out who committed the deed.
Once we purchased our tickets, we could start accessing the women’s case files on the website to pre-identify 2 suspects we want to interrogate later. This was a little tough as there wasn’t much to go on from these case files. My colleagues and I decided to put our eggs in multiple baskets and spread ourselves across all 6 suspects. One thing to note was that these suspects were going to answer us in their native language with no translation provided (this eventually became quite a sizeable barrier, but more on that later).
There are a total of 4 chapters in this experience:
– Chapter 1: Watch the 45-minute play online
– Chapter 2: Right after the play, interrogate the 2 pre-identified suspects live (30 minutes each)
– Chapter 3: Explore the crime scenes online via a virtual reconstruction of the murder site
– Chapter 4: Watch the final 35-minute play online revealing the killer
Initially, Chapter 3 was meant to be an on-site 30-minute investigation at the boutique hotel, Hotel Soloha, where this play was filmed at. Players could enter the “house”, search the women’s rooms and gather clues. This chapter is optional and only available at an additional fee. Unfortunately due to the heightened covid restrictions, it had to be converted and delivered in an online format. I guess it was a minor blessing in disguise so we could also participate in Chapter 3 and gain a fuller experience.
Strong performances all round from the cast in the pre-recorded plays, portraying their characters very convincingly. But we got to see them really bring their A-game during the individual interrogations. Being the only one in front of the camera with nowhere to hide and audiences throwing questions at them in real time for a full 30 minutes, I seriously commend their improvisation skills and ability to stay in character (most of them, at least). Samsui, played by Ng Mun Poh, gave us an emotional moment towards the end where she teared up answering a question. The other suspect my husband and I interrogated was Concubine, played by Suhaili Safari. I loved her sassy, fiery persona that kept us entertained the whole time.
One major hindrance during the interrogation was the language barrier. Although we were encouraged to select suspects whose language we could communicate in as there would be no subtitles or interpreters, we genuinely thought Samsui and Concubine were the most suspicious (they spoke Cantonese and Malay respectively), so it didn’t make sense for us to choose other suspects just because we understood their language. I get the impracticality of live translation and the need for these actresses to avoid breaking character by speaking a different tongue, but I feel this issue is an important one to resolve. During Samsui’s interrogation, my husband, who doesn’t comprehend a word of Cantonese, gave up midway and went to do something else (which I’m sure happened to other audiences as well).
The virtual reconstruction of the crime scenes was done with the aid of 360-degree cameras, giving audiences full control to explore the women’s rooms in search for clues. I must say you really need a keen eye for detail and a knack for ignoring potential red herrings to solve this mystery. In addition, you have to compose and submit an entire essay to present your air-tight case, complete with motives, methods and alibis. But we were motivated enough, given the grand prize of $1000 in cash and a 3D2N stay at Hotel Soloha!
My overall rating of the experience: 4 out of 5 stars. For the ticket prices we paid, I thought the whole experience was pretty worth it. Good quality performances and well-planned, carefully-crafted clues that were (most importantly) logical. Not to mention the actresses’ solid improv skills to hold the fort for a full 30 minutes! My husband and I, along with my colleagues, spent a large part of our weekend agonizing and going over the facts, the timelines and our multiple hypotheses (what a way to keep your audiences engaged, heh). Eventually, we managed to correctly identify the culprit but our explanations didn’t quite hit the mark, as revealed in the final play. It was an interesting ending, but not particularly mind-blowing. No spoilers here though as The Theatre Practice seems to have plans for another run! Hope the team can come up with a solution to the language barrier issue during the live interrogation by then. All in all, we enjoyed the novel experience and had fun honing our detective skills along the way (:
2 thoughts on “Review: The Bride Always Knocks Twice – Killer Secrets Virtual Interactive Play, The Theatre Practice (Singapore)”
Didn’t manage to catch chapter 4. Dania Who is the killer in the end ?
Revealing it would spoil the fun! Hopefully they do another run so you can give it a go and find out (: