These mysteries are written so that they can be conducted using several smaller rooms, rather than simply one big one with stage. These rooms require decorating according to the mystery, and there is a list of clues / props which will be required in each room.
The cast are spread between the rooms available. If you are short on rooms some of the cast can double up in a room, one remaining quiet while the other recites their lines, and visa versa.
The cast are all required to learn their parts before the event, or at the very least have read through their background material more than once to familiarise themselves with their background, and be able to read their monologues to the guests (hiding their scripts within a prop of some kind). 5 of them have one monologue to recite, and 2 of them share a dialogue between them.
It is the role of the invited guests to act as detectives and try and solve the mystery and determine the killer.
On arrival guests should be greeted and given a copy of the guest handout and an answer sheet and pen to enable to them keep track of the information. The guest handout contains instructions on how to solve the crime and space for notes.
After that, the guests simply visit all the rooms listed (sometimes more than once), listen to the cast’s speeches, review the prop clues and then ask the cast questions.
Once a guest thinks they have the solution they fill in the answer sheet and hand this back in, either to a drop box, or to some nominated person.
The mystery closes when the solution is provided by the inspector.
Sample running order:
We usually suggest greeting all the guests at the door and providing them with a free welcome drink and special colour coded tickets which contain a unique circular order to avoid bottle necks. A sample route is below. Each colour coded ticket will be walking a slightly different route so as to prevent bottlenecks during the evening.
7.15 Terrace Suite
7.40 Crime Scene
8.30 Function Room
8.55 Blue Room
9.20 Ball Room
9.45 Terrace Suite
10.15 Call for answer sheets
10.30 Solution – Ball Room
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 gather, label and set up the prop clues, decorate the rooms, 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! Reciting their lines 6 times (minimum) is hard work!
Usually these games work best with allocated time slots for guests to visit the cast, you may want to ensure that your guests are spread evenly between rooms by allocating time slots for the recitations and arranging a circular route around the venue.
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 style of event – feel free to get in touch for a free quote.
There are two videos for this style of event, one introduces the game format and the second explains more about the setting up process. You need a dedicated cast who can rehearse and recite scripts as well as ad lib questions. The stage manager role is essential to set up and keep an eye on the evening’s activities too!