Murder at Merkister Hall – Large group script

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murder at merkester hall

It’s the 1930s. The great depression is over, the pound is competing with the dollar on the open exchange and there is a rise in business of all shapes at sizes. Keen to share their good fortune with others, the Balderdashes regularly play host for sumptuous dinner parties at their stately home which involve nothing but the best wines, fine cuisine and traditional after dinner entertainment. This evening was to be no exception. The guests had all arrived as planned and with the food ready to be served in the kitchens the party only lacked one thing, namely the butler Leversham who has been discovered dead, in the Billiard room!

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We can customise this game.  However, sadly we do have to charge for this service as even minor customisations take between 1-2 hours to process in the office and we need to buy toilet roll and biscuits as much as the next person…

It’s hard to give “ball park” figures for what different customisations would cost however we’ve attempted to HERE.

Remember… if you just need 1 extra person, or 1 less person, why not add in the inspector as your extra guest.  The inspector can usually be male or female as the “for real” inspector can simply invent a new name for themselves.

Some hosts prefer to play the inspector role as it means they can work on the catering while the round plays out amongst their guests.

The inspector/facilitator role is essential for the game to work. He/she facilitates the entire evening.

The other characters can be taken from the audience and briefed before game play starts, OR you can select a group to play your suspects in advance of the night and give them time to get fluent in their roles and answers.

The rest of the guests are fully included in the game as they’ll be asking questions throughout the night.

Essential Cast:

Detective Inspector Napp – The policeman sent to solve the crime
Efficient in his own peculiar way, Detective Inspector Napp has an unusual method of solving crimes – he involves everyone!

Brigadier Balderdash – Lord of the Manor.
Pompous, with very upright military bearing, Brigadier Balderdash is always seen in a well starched collar and his tweed suit.

Lotta Balderdash – Wife of Brigadier Balderdash.
Tastefully clothed and very reserved, Lotta Balderdash is refined and elegant.

Bruce Bugatti – Racing car driver Always in a tearing hurry, Bruce Bugatti is very debonair, but also fairly untidy.

Anna Glipta – Local Artist
Never without her artist’s smock, Anna Glipta often has her sketch pad to hand and paintbrushes in her hair.

Rev. Al Ation – Vicar
With a stiff white dog collar and wearing traditional black, Rev. Al Ation is always on duty for his flock.

Miss Jane Marbles
– Maiden aunt and amateur sleuth.
In twin set and pearls, with a tweed suit, there is nothing remotely sinister about this spinster (except that dead bodies seem to turn up in her close proximity!)

Additional characters in the 9 cast game:

Doug Oles – Archaeologist.
Fresh from his current dig, Doug sports his boots, trowel and being young, huge levels of enthusiasm.

Nicole De’limelite – Film Star
Sophisticated and elegant, Nicole has all the latest fashions.

Additional characters in the 11 cast game:

Max Outputt – Industrialist.
Dressed formally for dinner in a dinner suit, Max is never parted from his Financial Times.

Penny Pusher – The Balderdash’s secretary.
Plain and unimpressive, Penny is a quiet non-entity and easy on the eyes.

Additional characters in the 13 cast game:

Gerry Atrics – Local doctor.
Never without his doctor’s bag, Gerry Atrics has a calm bedside manner and often wears a suit.

Iona Caine – Schoolteacher.
Strict and with glasses that are more regularly looked over than through, Iona has a modest dress code but is really quite stunning.

These games require 7-13 cast and involve the rest of the audience by getting them to ask pre-set questions – which are provided to them on paper by the inspector at the start of each round.

They run in a similar way to a dinner party, so are an ideal first choice for novice hosts and acing teams with little or no experience running large scale events.

These games work best as a sit down event with 6-12 tables of guests, with a suspect on each table.

As a rough guide these mysteries take approximately 2-3 hours to complete with a three course meal.

During the game the audience will listen to five short sets of dialogue from the cast and pose pre-scripted questions (which the cast answer with pre-scripted answers). There are three rounds which can be evenly spread throughout the night or, if preferred, the question and answer rounds can be bunched together into one large round.

At the end of the final round the guests are given time to decide who is the murderer, and once the guests have decided who did it, how and why (i.e. the murderer and motive) they will complete the answer sheet and hand it in.

How these games usually run.

Introductory Round: Introductions by the cast and the facilitator “inspector character”.
Rounds 1, 2 and 3: Scripted dialogue from the cast, followed by pre-set questions and answers.
Concluding Statements and solution: conclusions by the cast and denouement from the inspector.

There is one “inspector character” who acts as facilitator during the event and is essential to the cast.

Reducing the cast size will reduce the length of time required to solve the mystery.

Purchase Options

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Earn up to 174 Loyalty Points.

This game is rated Teen
This game contains:

content that may be suitable for persons ages 13 and older.
Including:

Sexual Themes - Mild references to dating / love "affairs" (non-sexual) in the past, and "peeping tom" behaviour.
A murder - violence suggested.
Comic Mischief - Depictions or dialogue involving slapstick or suggestive humour

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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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