Topped in the Big Top

Ivor Whiplash, Ringmaster and owner of the Burnem and Barley Circus, has been found lying face down in the sawdust of the Big Top with a knife in his back. His stockwhip lay by his right hand and he is undoubtedly very dead!

But who clipped his ticket? Who cancelled his contract?

All the performers have been assembled in the booking office. It is time to call in Detective Inspector Miles A. Head.

But can you help him work out whodunnit?

From: £22.99

Earn up to 73 Loyalty Points.

Hire an actor to play the detective – prices start at £291 contact us for more information.

This Game is Rated:


This game contains:

Content that may be suitable for persons ages 17 and older.

A murder – violence suggested.
Violence – mentions of physical assault
Drugs – Mentions of drugs
Comic Mischief – Depictions or dialogue involving slapstick or suggestive humor.
Suggestive Themes – Mild provocative references or materials and sexual innuendo.
Love tangles.

What is included?

Example pre-printed boxed set


Character booklets/scripts


Inspector CD / script


Instruction book


Decoration and recipe suggestions




Character name Labels


Invitation envelopes


3 reviews for Topped in the Big Top

  1. Happy Customer

    This Halloween, I decided to try a different theme, instead of the usual “ghosts and goblins” type Halloween murder mystery. I went for “Topped in the Big Top” and I decorated for a “Circus of Horrors” type setting complete with evil clowns and so forth. The decorations came out great. This was our third Red Herring Party and as the saying goes: “three times the charm.” My guests had a blast. The characters are very colorful and fun to play. The bearded lady, the clown, and the trapeze artist were among the highlights. The scripts were funny, and as always simple to use. These games are great for both beginners as well as murder mystery party veterans looking for something different. If you’re in the mood to try a unique setting, something a little different from the standard type games out there, give this one a try. It was great fun. I played as the game’s host, but instead of using the scripts as written for the inspector, I dressed up as the victim, Ivor Whiplash, and portrayed his ghost who was seeking revenge for his death. If the party didn’t solve his murder before midnight on Halloween, he would haunt the circus troupe forever. It worked out great and added to the Halloween theme. We served a variety of carnival food, (hot dogs, hamburgers, popcorn, candy apples) and we had a variety of carnival games to play between rounds, such as a ring toss game, and a betting wheel. The party was a success! The biggest mystery now is deciding which Red Herring game to try next.

Add a review


How it works:

Don’t panic! There is no special acting required. Guests do not need to memorise any information, and everything they need to play their parts is provided in a handy booklet. The games are constructed so that everyone has to interact, and scripted dialogues are included to help break the ice and get everyone into character. Even total novices get into the swing of things quite quickly!

The game includes both sound files (MP3 with a download or CD with a boxed set) and a script for the inspector character who provides the setting, clues, and summaries for each round, as well as the final solution. This means as host you too can play and remain completely in the dark as to the culprit, or play the inspector yourself and invite an extra guest to the party!

Each “download and print at home” kit is provided as a zip file containing a set of PDF files for you to print at home, and a selection of MP3 files to use on the night.

Each dinner party game requires use of a printer and A4 paper (approx. 80 sheets for a 6 player kit – 240 sheets for a 20 player kit), envelopes so you can send out your invitations, and either a laptop or MP3 player (e.g. an ipod) to play the inspector MP3s; OR a CD burner so you can burn the MP3s onto a CD to run in an ordinary CD player.

When you order the game you’ll be sent a link to download the files you need.  The file will be a zip file.  This can be opened with a zip compatible program on your computer.  If you struggle to open zip files – we can email you the game directly over several emails instead – just contact us after purchase to arrange this.

You will download the following files:

  • How to use this game
  • Instructions for running the murder mystery
  • Making the most of your theme- ideas for decoration / activities.
  • Invitations
  • Character Booklets (available in single sided printer and double sided printer format)
  • Scripted for the inspector character (available in single sided printer and double sided printer format)
  • Solution script for the inspector character (needed when printing from the single sided copy)
  • MP3 files for the inspector character (dialogue and solution)
  • Hints and tips
  • Recipe suggestions
  • Money off voucher towards next purchase

This is the easiest way to play.  Everything you need will arrive in a box, pre-printed, directly to your door.

You will receive through the post:

  • Instruction booklet (includes hints and tips)
  • Invitations and envelopes for all the guests
  • Character booklets
  • CD of the inspector
  • Inspector script in a sealed envelope so you don’t find out the solution by accident!
  • Making the most of your theme and recipe suggestion booklet.
  • Money off voucher towards next purchase (printed inside the booklets)

We always ship within 24 hours meaning orders arrive as quickly as possible.

As each game is printed on demand, we can also provide a customisation service on any order.  See details further down the page on what we can do to tailor this game to your party.

Characters in the game:


Koffey the Clown – Typical circus clown. (Gender Neutral)
In flamboyant make-up with a painted smile, brightly coloured uniform, bowler hat and a large bow tie, Koffey also has a bandaged right hand.

Xavier Fallin – Trapeze artiste par excellence. (Male)
Of Russian descent, Xavier wears a leotard covered with a large flowing cloak.

Angel Wings – Trapeze artist, partner to Xavier Fallin. (Gender Neutral)
Slim but surprisingly strong, Angel dresses in a spangled costume with white sparkly tights.

Dirk Hurlitt – Knife-thrower. (Male)
A full-blood Romany wearing a red bandana, wide-sleeved shirt cinched in at the waist with a red sash, silk neckerchief and black breeches fastened at the ankles.

Elli Vated – Highwire walker. (Female)
Elli wears a black costume and soft shoes, with hair slicked back to give a streamlined but severe appearance.

Amy Strate – Knife-thrower’s assistant. (Female)
A former animal trainer dressed in a gypsy blouse and bandana, coloured leggings with hot pants and low-heeled shoes.

Customise this game

This game can be customised to fit your event for an additional fee.

It’s hard to give “ball park” figures for what different customisations would cost however we’ve attempted to HERE.  Please do contact us for a free quote if you would like any customisations on your game before purchase.

Remember… if you just need 1 extra person, or 1 less person, why not have someone play the inspector role?

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.