Murder Mystery Dinner
Who Sleighed Santa?
by Ralph Kratzer
Of course, our British readers know that! I as a German did not know it until recently.
Wikipedia says: Murder mystery games are generally party games wherein one of the partygoers is secretly, and unknowingly, playing a murderer, and the other attendees must determine who among them is the criminal. This may involve the actual ‘murders’ of guests throughout the game, or may open with a ‘death’ and have the rest of the time devoted to investigation.
Murder mystery games may also refer to public performances in venues for events, team building or corporate entertainment, where the suspects are played by actors, and the role of detectives falls to the other guests.
Dinner party murder mystery games are generally played with small groups of individuals, e.g. 6-20. Murder mystery events for larger groups are usually run for numbers between 20 and 250 attendees, though events can be run with 400+ in attendance.
My girlfriend told me about 2 months ago that KADS (Kyrenia Amateur Dramatic Society) was planning a Murder Mystery Game later this year and that they wanted a weekend to try it first of all in a small circle. “Are you coming with me?” she asked. I said “of course”, because I was interested in the matter. So we met in the house of our friends John and Beverley and I got a first insight into such an event.
In early December, it was on the occasion of the theatre show “Showstoppers” performed by the RBL Theatre Players, I was asked if I could not jump in at the KADS Murder Mystery Event “Who sleighed Santa?”. It should not be a big issue, I just should play a security man who arrests and leads away the murderer at the end of the game. I thought the idea was funny and agreed spontaneously.
On Wednesday 17th December 2014 the time had come. In the morning, the theatre group met for the last rehearsal and I was instructed about my cameo. Granted, it was not really difficult and I had already played some walk-on roles for television in Germany.
The story of the murder case in brief: The “entrepreneur” Santa Claus is apparently killed at a business meeting in the closest circle of his business partners and his wife as a joint partner of his enterprise, as he falls out with everyone. Also Santa’s mistress, a prior starlet, has to bite the dust. Of course all of the present suspects have a motive for the killings. But in the end Santa survives the attack,returns, and the case eventually clears up.
During the dinner, the guests had the opportunity to discuss table by table and define the murderer of their choice. Everyone had great fun doing it and lively discussions took place about the sequence of events and possible motives. Ultimately, the results of the “investigations” were collected and analyzed.
After the solution of the murder story the winning team was presented with a prize.
All in all a really successful event, not only for the guests and the theatre group – the surplus money of the evening will be donated to a good cause. It will go to Tulips (Help Those with Cancer Association).
By the way, my daughter told me recently that this kind of event meanwhile takes place in Germany as well. Why not, it´s a good and funny thing!