Bristol Theatre Reviews

Review: The Munch Mission at The Wardrobe Theatre Bristol

The Munch Mission, is the latest show from Bristol’s Brave Bold Drama, following Agents Kahlo and Dali of the Company of International Artists (CIA), as they solve their way through another fiendish art mystery.

This time, the pair must track Edvard Munch’s The Scream, which has disappeared from Oslo National Museum. It’s a dastardly affair with the work of art due to be celebrated in a special exhibition just days away.

The smart show features madcap comedy, genuine mystery and fact based learning opportunities around the art as well as its country of origin.

The audience is brought right into the heart of the CIA world from the moment the auditorium doors open. The Agents greet families with special spy packs for use within the performance.

A paddle helps audiences with choose your own adventure style options. An age appropriate code to be cracked operates as an in-show password. We also have further clues to solve as we work together to locate the whereabouts of the missing painting.

The Munch Missions runs broadly at an hour, during which we meet a diverse range of characters all of whom provide clues towards the whereabouts of The Scream.

A nice effect in this show comes with both actors changing into the costume of their next character quietly to the side of the stage. It shows youngsters the craft of acting and how characters are developed.

The set is a clever series of filing cabinets which props appear and disappear from. The outlandish lobster telephone makes a return.

The show is very much like an Inspector Gadget set up meets a Scooby Doo mystery – but without the Great Dane and the annoying smugness of the meddling kids.

It’s funny, clever and has the rare ability to entertain an audience of all ages. There’s the knowing nods for adults – such as a Zoom meeting for which the internet is unstable and the participants forget to unmute. The physical comedy is delightful with children loving the slapstick and imaginative nature of the performance. And I’m pleased to have attended my very first surprise party for a priceless piece of art.

The show has been developed for children aged six years upwards, though there were much younger and older children in the audience clearly having a great time.

What Brave Bold Drama has cleverly managed to do is to create a universe around their characters. One that can expand across different mediums and appeal to diverse audiences. One character breaks into a naturally broad Bristolian accent, which is so important for reaching communities in the furthest parts of the city who won’t often see themselves represented on stage.

The agents have also been out running unique art and theatre performance fun days around Bristol, including Hartcliffe and Knowle, giving youngsters around the city a chance to experience performance and learn about art in their own local areas.

Agents Kahlo and Dali, bring a huge amount of energy, creativity and participation to their accessible and enjoyable shows, which they will hopefully expand further into the CIA universe.

For more information about Brave Bold Drama:

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