The current investigative interview framework for police officers in England and Wales (and many other countries) recommends the use of the cognitive interview (CI). One of the primary components of the CI is the mental reinstatement of context (MRC) instruction. However, research has consistently indicated that police officers do not regularly use this component and when they do it is often poorly applied. Thus the question arises as to whether some adjustment of the MRC component might enhance its forensic practicability. An initial investigation was conducted as to the efficacy of a more succinct and less complex MRC technique, namely a sketch plan mental reinstatement of context (Sketch MRC). Twenty-four hours after having viewed a crime film, adult mock witnesses were interviewed employing the traditional MRC instruction, a Sketch MRC instruction or no mental reinstatement of context (No MRC). Analysis of overall memorial performance revealed the Sketch MRC to be as effective as the MRC and more effective than No MRC. Thus, for less serious crime the Sketch MRC technique may be a viable, less complex and less time consuming alternative. Copyright # 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.