How Murder Mysteries Work

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.

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14 Comments

Filed under murder mystery, Writing

14 responses to “How Murder Mysteries Work

  1. It sounds like a lot of fun!

  2. Have done and it was fun

  3. Leo

    I like solving mystery, this can be fun.

  4. Sounds great – never did anything like this… ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. TaxCoach

    This will be fun – a good opportunity for team building.

  6. Mmmm I like to cause the mystery, that is where the fun is ๐Ÿ™‚ but none of the good food but lol

  7. Not been to one for ages, but great fun and I recommend to anyone ๐Ÿ™‚ Ed

  8. My wife and I went to one of these in London a few years back. The Murder Mystery saved what was a less than seller meal.

  9. I have never tried one, but it sounds interesting.

  10. We’ve always talked about doing one of these someday.

    Sharon

  11. Love these whodunnits, did it with our family once, about 50 people, it was hilarious and everybody gets a chance to play. Good to have shy people join in too.

  12. Great idea for our Christmas party this year. Presumably the guests can all dress up and that would be part of the fun?

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