Each game requires 5 actors who are fully in the know and one stage manager to oversee the whole activity as well as costumes and props.
They are fully cast based, which means the cast need to know a full character background and a series of theatre style scripts. Cast need to be able to ad lib responses to questions throughout the night, and with numbers above 80 they may also need microphones in order to be heard by the guests (unless you have a really quiet audience).
One murder occurs before the guests arrive and one midway through the evening.
Your guests play the role of detectives. You can have any number of detectives for this mystery between 40 and 200. We would suggest a number greater than 200 to be too large an audience.
The mystery requires advance preparation, and several rehearsals. The more notice you have, and the more preparation and effort you put into running the mystery, the better it will run for you and your guests. You will need to liaise closely with the catering staff on the night so that they are familiar with the program and serve and clear at the right time.
These scripts are usually not appropriate for young children due to the number of deaths involved!
Brief introduction to the format of these games.
This mystery is written to be acted out in one room. The guests will watch a series of acted out scenes and also have opportunity to quiz the cast first hand throughout the night and more formally at the end.
The cast are all required to learn their parts before the event. They will need to understand their character and be able to ad lib on the information given in their character background. Cast will need several rehearsals, and preferably one within the room to be used on the night to allow familiarity with the stage area (which is the entire room).
It is the role of the invited guests to act as detectives and try and solve the mystery and determine the killer. Once in the dining room the guests should each receive a guest hand out and have access to pens as well as an answer sheet for the group.
At the very end of the night opportunity is given for more formal questioning and only after this has occurred will the guests be asked to submit their answers.
The mystery closes when the solution is provided by the inspector.
How these games usually run
(All times are approximate – cast should liaise with kitchen staff throughout the evening and vice versa.)
|7.00pm||On arrival guests should be greeted in character by the cast. If a separate room is available, such as a bar, where the guests can congregate before dinner then it is suggested that those three cast mingle with the guests in this room before they are conducted through for dinner.|
|7.30pm||The guests are called through to the main dining room and seated.|
|7.40pm||Round One Script.|
|7.50pm||First course is served, eaten and plates cleared before the next script.|
|8.20pm||Round 2 script.|
|8.30pm||Main Course is served. Actors mingle with the guests giving them opportunity to ask them questions. Plates should be cleared as well before next round.|
|9.10pm||Round 3 script – second death.|
|9.20pm||Dessert is served. Actors mingle with the guests giving them opportunity to ask them questions. Plates should be cleared as well before next round.|
|9.50pm||Round 4 script. Inspector asks guests at the end of this round to formulate some questions.|
|10.00pm||Coffee / tea and formal questions session. At the end of the question session the inspector will ask the guests to complete their answer sheets and hand them in.|
|10.20pm||Round six – solution.|
Your job as host
Firstly make sure you have adequate time to prepare for the event, that all cast are happy with their scripts and that anything else you plan to run at the same time as the mystery e.g. refreshments, has been adequately thought through.
These mysteries are time consuming to prepare, and require a dedicated cast and several props as well as copying of a guest handout and answer sheet which should be available to each guest (with pens) on the night.
Before the event you will need to decorate the rooms, gather props, copy enough guest handouts for each attendee, and ensure that the cast have adequately rehearsed.
On the night it is your job as host to make sure all your guests are comfortable with what they are being asked to do, and that the event passes off without a hitch.
Although the guests will have been given their instructions, sometimes these are simply not enough, especially if they are nervous of their role in the mystery. As host it will be your job to make sure they understand what is expected of them.
Don’t forget to look after your cast! Acting is hard work.
Running a large group murder mystery is really not as difficult to do as you might think, and if you get stuck why not email us? We’re here to help after all!
Finally and most importantly: Have fun!
Event management services are available for this format of event script – feel free to contact us for a free quote.
Video introduction to this type of game format:
The video below introduces how these games work.