The Escape Room @ Flight Path Theatre

Verdict: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (reviewed Opening Night Thursday 23 May)

The murder mystery genre is always a fun one to explore and this original comedy-thriller by Annie Boyle and Libby Bramble, directed by Steven Hopley (writer of A Fortunate Few, The Italian Comedy and more) is full of surprises.

An escape room is an immersive, 60-minute, adventure game in which guests must find clues and solve puzzles to escape before time runs out. This play puts an Agatha-Christie twist on that concept, as stakes are raised when the trapped guests realise they may be dealing with a real serial killer among them.

Stagecraft wise, the show is a winner, with expert lighting, creepy sound effects, slamming doors, disturbing props and more to create a claustrophobic environment.

Music by The Doors (Break On Through (To The Other Side), Gary Glitter (Rock and Roll, Pt. 1) and Rupert Holmes (Escape (The Pina Colada Song) creates exciting anticipation.

Costume and Set Design by Amy Lane & Bella Wellstead is well thought out and intentional.

Scripting wise, the characters are neurotic, unhinged, pathological and full of crowd-chortling one-liners.

Standout performers include Kate Dolan as Hope, who reminds her meek husband over and over again she wanted to ESCAPE TO ROME NOT AN ESCAPE ROOM! Steven Maresca as Richard is dependable as ever as a creepy stalker who has ‘never met anyone here before, including through windows and webcams’. Libby Bramble (co-writer of the play) is very sweet as an aspiring actress who has the habit of name-dropping every performance she has been in. Aaron Okey as Hank and Harlee Timms as Harry perform brilliantly as a closeted couple, perhaps with potential for a future spin-off.

The play also features co-writer Annie Boyle as Audrey, Savannah Melvin as Al and Yarno Rohling as an Actor / Game Runner and Italian Guy. Their characters’ pathos adds to the weirdness and absurdity of the play.

Steven Hopley does a great job as a director, with excellent fight choreography by Diego Retamales in moments of intense strobe lighting by Finn Appleton and Noah Cohen-Stoddart.

It has been mentioned previously in other reviews that one of the major drawbacks of this theatre space is the sound of planes flying overhead, which on this particular night was exacerbated by the heavy sound of static coming a large speaker right above the front rows. It detracted from the intense atmosphere, especially when lines were spoken too softly and too casually throughout the play. As my acting coach used to yell at us, if we can’t hear you in the back row, you aren’t projecting enough.

That would be the only slight deficit in this otherwise marvellous play.

The Escape Room is playing at Flight Path Theatre til 25 May 2024. For tickets and showtimes, go to

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