Masked Revengers?

At Red Herring Games we’re often asked to help source props and costumes for special events.  Often if it’s a team building event or last minute private party, accessories are the costumes of choice.  It’s far easier to accessorize a guest than it is to provide full fancy dress.

Top of our “loves” when it comes to accessories are masks.  There are a few murder mysteries that suit masks better than others, but if you are needing a costume change in a hurry – masks are certainly a fun accessory to have!

And if you are looking for something special, then look no further than Masque Boutique – a fellow winner of #SBS – they have a variety of “off the shelf” masks but can also create masks to order, and boy can they create something bespoke!!

We chatted to Tanith over the phone just the other day and asked her to give us a bit of a potted history on mask wearing – just because we love a bit of history here at RHG.  (Ask Jo, she often gets engrossed in research when writing bespoke games!)

Tanith said:

“When you think of a Masked Ball, it probably conjures up images of an 18th Century affair – with giant wigs, elegant corseted dresses and classic Venetian Ball Masks. However, wearing of masquerade masks pops up in many societies and cultures throughout history in both their celebrations and staged entertainment – long before the Venetians wore them to their Carnivale.

In Medieval Europe, the wearing of masks was used vividly in mystery and miracle plays, portraying allegorical creatures and focusing on popular Bible stories. The wearers presented an air of mystery and power over their audience in their disguise and expressive nature, enabling the actor to become someone else entirely.”

And when it comes to playing a murder mystery game, you find yourself needing to become someone else entirely!  So masks are perfect disguises and accessories!

Obviously masks don’t suit all our mysteries, but some of our themes beg to have masks as accessories.

The first is Mardi Gras Masquerade Murder which is set in New Orleans. It has “masquerade” in the title, which is a bit of a give away!  So why not ask each guests to bring a mask with them – it will enhance the overall experience of your guests – transporting them into the story and allowing them become a new character and hide any reservations they might have behind their masks!

There’s some beautiful masks at Masque Boutique that work well for this game.  And it’s important to remember that nearly all of their masks are handmade so you can be sure you’ll have something quite different to the other guests!  They also offer a free custom mask design service so you can customise the masks to suit your personality.  If all of your guests use Tanith at Masque Boutique – then do tell her it’s for the same murder mystery – and she will ensure you all have very different masks.  If you tell her your character, she’ll also ensure you pick a mask that will suit your role.

We asked Tanith to suggest a few “off the peg” designs to give us a feel for what she could suggest, and she quickly came up with these three gorgeous mask accessories.

purple mask This purple classic mask, will make any party girl feel special.
Peacock mask Who wouldn’t want to be seen in this beautiful peacock and butterfly accessory?
Gold Mask This mens gold and feather Venetian mask will certainly turn heads.

While masks make a great addition for many murder mystery games and events, another “top favourite” for mask wearers is: ‘Bump Off at the Grind’.

After all, what better way to get your party of burlesque girls into character than by hiding their sultry faces behind extravagant feather masquerade masks and sexy lace masks.

Tanith at Masque Boutique picked out a few of her favourites for us:

Black Mask Firstly this elegant Burlesque feather mask in black with white (which can be customised with other coloured feathers as well to fit in with your outfit)
Pink feather mask Then she suggested this super girly sparkly hot pink feather mask (also available in other colours) and
lace mask finally this gorgeous genuine Venetian red lace mask (comes in a blue, silver, gold and bronze).

So if you feel like making your murder mystery event that little bit extra special, visit Masque Boutique who are offering all of our customers a special 15% discount code (RedHerring15) to use on their site. You can pass this onto your guests or arrange a bulk order discount.

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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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