2) If you have no optional characters and don’t want to know who did it before the guests, then your only real option is to find a substitute. This needn’t be another guest. (After all there aren’t many people you can invite at short notice without making them feel really “un-special”/ “after thoughts” / “didn’t want originallys” but if you have someone who doesn’t take offense easily… ask them – it always works better with a person in place.)
If you can’t think of an also ran – then try one of these:
- Get someone to play two roles. This works really well if you have some comedians in the group – notify them in advance and get them to bring a prop for each character they’re playing. Put two seats at the table so they can switch between chairs and get them to play both roles.
- Use a puppet. as above – but with a puppet. We know of someone who used an emu once as they had a last minute drop out. Apparently it went down really well.
- Just take it in turns to read out questions and answers from the booklet and read out the scripted lines. It doesn’t matter who does the reading, so long as the information that character had get’s heard.