Bump off at the Grind – a long time in development… – by Jo Smedley

Finally, after 2 and a bit years of threatening, Bump off at the Grind has hit the shelves.  I must admit it’s taken me some time to write, not least because of the number of large group commissions I’ve taken on in the last few years which have kept me hard at it, researching and developing new systems of play, as well as just new plots!

However, we were in the lucky position of having a couple of genuine burlesque stars working for the firm a couple of years ago, and it was as a result of my association with them in the world of burlesque and back stage in the local club, that the idea for Bump off at the Grind came about.

Contrary to popular opinion, burlesque girls are, for the main, a lovely bunch of cupcake-consuming-vintage-loving-sisters-in-arms.  Backstage there’s a love of love, jokes, camaraderie and genuine friendships.  Which poses a problem when it comes to setting a murderer within their midst.  Quite frankly I can’t think of any girls I’ve met who would have the temperament to kill anyone.

Also there are so many burlesque names floating about out there, with girls attached to them, that I knew it was going to be difficult to find enough “new names” to put to my cast of characters.  So the girls and I hit upon a different idea – use REAL burlesque dancers who agreed to be part of the plot.  And so, with much trepidation on my part as i didn’t want to typecast anyone, Bump Off at the Grind’s characters came into being.

Obviously there’s quite a bit of artistic license within the description of the girls, and I’ve egged-up some character traits and downplayed all their “nice” bits to make any of them appear capable of murder, but it does mean that if you want to play the game, you can actually google (for the most part) your character and find some pictures, and perhaps even some you-tube clips of your girl strutting their stuff on stage.

There are two totally made up names in the list… see if you can spot them… though by now they might well have girls attached…

Don’t let the fact your character is based on someone real put you off going over the top into your roles, and if you have the time to add in a burlesque workshop as part of your party preparations I can assure you of a cracking-fun time.

But whether you’re stripping, cavorting or just swallowing jelly vodka shots between courses, I hope you’ll have a lot of fun at the first modern Burlesque themed murder mystery game to hit the internet.

To take a look at the burlesque murder mystery yourself and read up on the plot – simply click here: Bump off at the Grind

 

 

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Flexible and fun!

We contacted Red-Herring-Games for a party for a special occasion. Why going to restaurants to eat is the preferred activity to mark milestones is beyond me and my friends.   The choice of mystery was obvious, looking at the options from New Zealand on the web Red Herring stuck out from the international options.  A quick look at the site and games showed subtlety as well a range of choices.  The numbers you could have for each evening was important,  Red Herring had scaling options a good range of scenarios but most importantly were Jo and team being flexible, responsive and helpful.

Rachel McWilliam, Arts Development Officer, Lincs Inspire

Thank you Red Herring Games for the marvellous 'Murder!  Cargo Connections?' event that you organised for us as part of Museums at Night at the Fishing Heritage Centre in Grimsby. The whole evening went so well and was brilliant fun.  I know from all the feedback that our visitors had a fantastic time. It was really good working with you and I have no doubt that we will do again in the not too distant future.  

A. Nonymous (council employee)

I would like to thank you and your colleague for helping contribute towards our successful conference last month.  Everyone really seemed to enjoy the evening and it was rewarding that so many delegates were able to participate in addition to the main "Actors".  Our conference evaluation froms included the following comments:
  • "Enjoyed the evening entertainment!"
  • The evening entertainment was great and the confusion made it great fun!"
With thanks and best wishes.

Sarah Spencer (Cleethorpes Chronicle)

I had no idea what to expect before purchasing a ticket for Old, New, Borrowed, Blue, which was being staged at a nearby hotel, and feared it might involve taking part in some way. However thankfully for me no acting was necessary, just some amateur sleuthing. "Wedding guests" of which I was one, were called upon to move from room to room in the hotel in groups, questioning a number of possible murderers with the aim of solving the mystery of the dead bridegroom. The interviewees were really fun characters and gave us all some good laughs. Of course they all had motives and it was a case of identifying the shiftiest. The wedding theme was particularly good, as it fitted well with the venue, the buffet that was part of the evening (with a wedding cake in the middle) and the fact that everyone had been able to dress up to fit in without going to the trouble of fancy dress. I didn't think I had enough "evidence" to actually accuse anyone but later regretted not even writing down my first guess as it wouldn't have been too far off the mark. The evening was great fun and everyone seemed to enjoy it and take part. I would definitely recommend Old, New, Borrowed, Blue as good for getting even reluctant or first-time mystery party-goers involved.  

Alan Young (Personal Touch Mortgages)

What a cracking nights entertainment! We don't get out much nowadays with 2 kids and this was exactly what we were looking for in a good night out. Lots of fun with tongue firmly in cheek and everyone kept guessing whodunnit right to the very end. Would definitely attend another!!!!!  

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