Murder Mystery evenings are a form of dinner theatre. Scripts have less layers than a murder mystery novel would need and the performance is based on the audience trying to establish method, motive and murderer. The evening needs to be engaging and fun with plenty of comedy moments.
A typical event will have five characters of which four are suspects. Each has a character profile comprising their relationship with the victim and their involvement with the other suspects. Each suspect will have a plausible motive for the murder and each will have had an opportunity and method. Only the murderer can lie, the other characters must tell the truth and this is how clever teams will solve the murder; by catching one of the suspects out.
Unlike a play only about 25% of the evening’s content is scripted. These are the principal scenes which set the basic plot. The rest is interactive with teams questioning the suspects and the actors interacting with each other based on the often unpredictable twists and turns that the audience send them on. The actors need to be quick on their feet and able to deflect teams who get too close too soon while taking full advantage of the red herrings. It can be quite intense.