How easy is it to run a murder mystery evening?
Very often we’re asked how easy it is to run a murder mystery evening for large numbers of guests. The answer very much depends on what style of murder mystery you are running!
Some of our murder mystery kits suit total novices and are designed to run with very little advance planning and rehearsals. One doesn’t event need a fixed cast!
You’ll find our murder mystery scripts for experienced hosts here. But when it comes to hosting as a first timer, and as a total novice, you have two options for easy to host murder mystery games.
Option 1) If you’re familiar running dinner party games at home, then our dinner party style murder mystery for large groups is an ideal first choice. These run in a very similar way to the dinner parties and so long as you have everything printed up ready to go in advance, then you can run them with just yourself as a facilitating host inspector and pull in the cast from the rest of the audience.
This makes them ideal choice for a commercial venture too – as the only “actor” required is YOU. The audience are the ones taking part as suspects. Which means it keeps your overhead costs to a bare minimum.
We would normally suggest using no more than 8 suspects, and having a group size of no greater than 80 in order to produce a polished evening that everyone will enjoy. However we’ve had feedback from numerous fundraisers who’ve successfully pulled off games like this with 200 guests using microphones and casting the suspects from the organisational team who can throw their voices sufficiently to be heard.
Option 2) Skit and Clue based games are a great intermediate murder mystery experience bridging the gap between a fully cast event and a “no cast” event. With these you need 6 actors capable of learning very minimal lines, which means they can be very novice actors, and people who just like to ham things up are ideal! So long as they can throw their voices sufficiently in a room full of guests that’s great.
These games have the benefit of having a “dead body” contained with the plot – which guest love. There’s screaming to announce a murder, and another death midway through the evening to really spice things up – BUT in order to keep things as simple as possible, rather than making the cast learn a lot of back story – instead the plot is provided to the guests on slips of paper which they must barter and exchange with other groups in order to see enough clues to solve the plot.
Church groups LOVE these style of murder mystery evenings as the whole room becomes involved in reviewing clues and exchanging them between teams. It makes for great interaction between teams, rather than everyone just watching a team of actors. It’s also fairly “low key” so it’s not a threatening level of performance, and the audience know exactly what’s expected of them at any point.
Hosting a murder mystery as a complete novice isn’t as difficult as you might think – and as ever we’re here on hand with help and advice, only a phone call or email away. We’ve run every single format in our catalogue more than once and understand the pros and cons of each type and what level of preparation you might need.
We are usually happy to send samples from scripts, and/or the instructions for a murder mystery to let you get a flavour of a script too – just ask.