How It Works
Online Murder Mysteries
These last approximately 2.5 hours and are suitable for any number of guests. Typically they are performed for companies, often where people are working remotely in different time zones, and provide an excellent way of getting employees together socially and/or for team building. Our online events are also equally applicable for private bookings where family and friends can get together and be entertained without the need (and expense) of having to hire a venue to which inevitably some guests will have to make long journeys.
Prior to the event the host will assign the ‘volunteer’ actor roles i.e. there are around 8 persons needed who will become the cast of suspects, the victim and murderer (though nobody will know which they are and so will take part fully in the investigation). Each volunteer will then be contacted (via Zoom) and given an information pack which includes the back story for their character, suggestions for dressing up (optional though most guests do wish to get into character), and their lines (which are for general guidance only and need not be strictly adhered to on the day). Each part only lasts a few minutes and is done in the presence of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson so nobody need fear an acting role … normally those who take on such parts enjoy themselves all the more.
On the day guests will join Zoom and after an introduction and scene setting by Sherlock Holmes there will be a mixer quiz during which one of the guests will be murdered. From here on there will be various interview scenes (involving the volunteer actors) accompanied by clues being sent to guests via the ‘chat box’. Physical evidence will also be made available. Guests will be split into teams and be given time between scenes to discuss the case in their ‘breakout rooms’. Each team will be given a form on which they will write their deductions, and identify who they think is the murderer. After all the scenes have been performed teams will submit their forms to Sherlock Holmes. Finally, there will be the denouement at which the suspects will be eliminated one-by-one (somewhat in the style of Poirot), the murderer will be exposed, and the winning team announced, along with the person who was voted ‘Best Volunteer Actor’.
In Person Performances
Since all our shows are personalised there is no such thing as a typical event. We perform on ships, boats, trains, in hotels, restaurants, manor houses, National Trust properties, clubs, universities, church halls and people’s homes. However, the general format is the same with an event lasting from between 3 and 4 hours from start to finish.
Upon arrival you will be greeted by Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson who will encourage you to take part in a mixer quiz. This will usually involve you having to find another guest in order to solve a clue. Having worked out the first clue you should now interrogate as many other people as possible in order to answer as many of the remaining clues in the time allowed. There will, of course, be prizes for the winners of this ‘ice breaker’ which may also have a bearing on the murder to follow.
It is during this time that we invite around 8 guests to become volunteer ‘suspects’ for the evening (with at least one being a victim or a murderer). For private parties these roles can be assigned beforehand by the host. The volunteers are dressed up, provided with props and briefed as to their part. Each scene that they might be in takes only a few minutes, and the volunteers will have no extra information than the rest of the audience and so take part fully in the investigation.
The next step is for the guests to take their seats for dinner (which might also be an afternoon tea, lunch, buffet or BBQ) for very soon there will be a death – a gun shot, a strangulation, or is it a poisoning? The murder will be seen by the audience and luckily Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson will be present to investigate further.
As Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson swiftly go into action the main part of the show begins. Armed with some background details, and your first clue, you become the detective trying to pit your wits against Sherlock Holmes as you race to solve the case before the great detective. Each table becomes a team and it is up to your team to try and solve the puzzle. For every deduction you make more clues, or red herrings, will be forthcoming. Further scenes (up to a dozen) involving the volunteer actors will be acted out in front of you as your meal progresses. Each scene will provide information invaluable to your investigation. There will also be visual clues hidden around the venue for you to find. Once you have made your deductions, found the motive and named the murderer you will be invited to submit your answer sheets.
The guilty person will most likely be one of your guests who didn’t even know that they were the murderer. In the denouement Sherlock Holmes will line up all the suspects and expose their secrets one-by-one until the final person left is the murderer (or are they?). There will be prizes for the winner of the mixer quiz, the team with the best solution, and a special award for person voted by the audience to be the best volunteer actor.