Can you run a surprise murder mystery evening?
While there is no doubt that anticipation is half the fun of any murder mystery dinner party. With guests loving the run up to the night, gathering costumes and props for their character, emailing around quirky messages etc. It is possible to run them as a complete surprise for your guests too – which is IDEAL in barbecue season when 5 times out of 10 the weather turns foul and what was going to be a nice knees up in the garden turns out to be all of you stuck indoors with sausages under the grill again!
So how do you go about keeping something up your sleeve as a “fall back” and running something as a surprise?
Because our games are all available as a downloadable option – so long as you have ink and paper in your printer, and a couple of hours spare to print – you can decide that morning to change your plans! Simply download the game you decide to play and get it all printed up and ready without involving the guests until they arrive.
What about if you want to run a surprise murder mystery but want to plan a party too?
If you have adequate time… then you’ve got all the fun to yourself, as it’s up to you to set the scene and find their costumes (if you want them to dress up that is).
First of all you need to know how many guests you’ll have. Then all you need to do is pick your party, and rather than inviting all the guests as their characters, you just invite them as they are to a “non specific” gathering (e.g. a cheese and wine night).
OR you can ask them to come according to a set theme e.g. if you wanted to run the Box office Hit as a surprise, then get them to come black tie.
While you can simply allocate your guests as they arrive to the character roles you have already decided they will be, and leave it at that, it’s often more fun to create a “dressing up room”.
As the guests arrive, spring on them which character they are going to be – give them the invitation information, and send them off into a room in your house where you’ve collected a series of props / costumes and costume accessories and let them find something appropriate to wear/use during the evening.
We often do this when we’re team building, as very rarely will a company group have time to get changed and turn up ready for a participative murder mystery in fancy dress, rather we look down the invitation list, work out what props might make a good extra for the characters listed, and then go shopping for costume accessories. We then give the group a suitcase of necklaces, hats, wigs, and other costume accessories, and ask them to find something appropriate to their role. E.g. the Reverend might create a white dog collar for himself out of paper and a paperclip.
Once everyone is there, you can just start the party in the normal way. The lack of preparation means that everyone is in the same boat, and no one feels nervous as they’re all just thrown into it.