Our first Murder Mystery evening was on Wednesday, 3 June 2020. We had a great time – both as actors and detectives. We look forward to running another of these nights soon.
The game is called Murder at Merkister Hall.
The setting is the 1930s. The great depression is over, the pound is competing with the dollar on the open exchange and there is a rise in business of all shapes at sizes. Keen to share their good fortune with others, the Balderdashes regularly play host for sumptuous dinner parties at their stately home which involve nothing but the best wines, fine cuisine and traditional after dinner entertainment. This evening was to be no exception. The guests had all arrived as planned and with the food ready to be served in the kitchens the party only lacked one thing, namely the butler Leversham who has been discovered dead, in the Billiard room!
How does this work?
The game is made up of short speeches, scripts, and improvised question and answer sessions between the characters. These will be interspersed with some updates from the Detective, who facilitates the evening and helps move the puzzle along by providing summaries and the final solution.
All actors will be provided in advance with a booklet which will contain:
- More background information about their characters
- Introduction and concluding speeches (they’re only about a sentence or two long)
- The scripts for each scene
- Information for each Improvised Q&A – both questions you should ask other characters, and information you should reveal when the characters question you.
Actors should read the first few pages of the booklet in advance, but the rest should remain secret util the evening.
Participants do not need to be a good or experienced actor to take part – they merely need to be enthusiastic! Particularly playing games like this over Zoom, where your performance makes up a tiny part of the screen, there is no such thing as too hammy. The most important thing is to have fun!
Costumes are delightful, but by no means mandatory. A hat, scarf or tie does a lot of work!
The evening can also be enjoyed by people who aren’t actors, as they can watch along and try to solve the mystery by considering the characters’ means, motive and opportunity.