Put on your detective hat and join agents Helen Thomas, John Steele, and Pearl Jackson in solving the mysterious case of Peter Walker’s death.

Line of Fire, directed and written by Beth Atkinson alongside co-writer Beth Jay, is a wartime immersive murder mystery put on by Cross-Stitch Theatre. Outside, I was greeted by John Steele (Christopher Styles), and inside I was greeted by Helen Thomas (Beth Jay). I really appreciated the characters introducing themselves and milling about; I felt immersed even before the actual production started. As soon as I walked through the doors of the venue Crypt, I felt transported to 1943 – which is no surprise given it was actually used as a bomb shelter. The venue was simply decorated but consistent with the time period as they had political posters and swing music playing. 

At 7:30, we were all gathered into the meeting room and briefed on our mission – to find out how Peter Walker, who was found in the remains of a house after it was bombed, actually died. We had the choice of which agent we wanted to work with – Helen Thomas (Beth Jay), John Steele (Christopher Styles), or Pearl Jackson (Zoe Flint). Each group worked on their task for about fifteen minutes, then we would return to the main room where everyone was briefed on what each group discovered.

Each cast member was very convincing. They never once broke character, and I marveled at their skilful improvisation. The highlight cast member for me was the authoritative Pearl Jackson; I went with her group every time. While I didn’t get to see much of Henrietta Carter (Beth Atkinson) in action because I was in the other room interrogating Dr William Parker (Angus Woodward), it was exciting to be introduced to new characters. Their addition later in the show was thrilling, unexpected, and added to the climax. 

Overall, the cast did a great job making sure we stayed on task without breaking character. We did a lot of the work independently with the cast subtly guiding us. I liked the lack of an interval; it would have disrupted the flow of the experience. There was a real sense of accomplishment when we solved the case and arrested the murderer, and the show ended climactically. 

Line of Fire was impressively intricate – there were added elements like a phone, radio, and record player, and there were clues being hidden on the backs of puzzles and in characters’ pockets. However, it was a lot of information to take in during the briefings. I struggled to piece everything together and didn’t always understand why we were eliminating suspects. With that being said, I have a great admiration for the actors who had to know how everything worked in order to coordinate with the different groups, make sure the right clues were found, and send audience members to complete tasks.

I definitely recommend going to any of this company’s shows, and don’t hesitate to buy your tickets because they tend to sell out. I am so excited to see what they will do next!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

{🎟 AD PR invite}

2 Star Review 3 Star Review 4 Star Review 5 Star Review 2022 2023 Comedy Edinburgh Fringe Edinburgh Fringe Interviews Fringe Interviews Musical News Off West End Play Review Revival Touring Production VAULT Festival West End

Leave a Reply