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Whodunnit Evenings

What is a whodunnit evening? How do I book? What do the Thespians provide? Is there a cost?
What is the current season’s mystery? Can I book a mystery for any date? Can I have a different mystery or one written to order? Why do you do these mysteries?
>>>> Hints and tips for anyone contemplating booking a mystery<<<

What is a "who-dun-it" evening?
A murder mystery played out as an evening’s entertainment with opportunities for guests to get involved in solving the crime.
Typically, actors from the Taunton Thespians will take on the characters of an oddly assorted group of people gathered together from some seemingly innocent purpose. As the evening progresses, you will meet all the different characters and will learn about the relationships between them. At some point, there will be a murder most foul and then the detective will recruit the whole audience to help him or her solve the mystery. Usually at this point, showing great sensitivity, we break for supper. After supper, the detective will ask the audience to help him or her question the suspects so don't forget to watch out for clues and hints. Beware of the red herrings!

How do I book?
In the first instance, to check availability and discuss possible themes, contact the Treasurer .
What do the Thespians provide?
An evening’s murder mystery entertainment (typically from about 7.00pm – 10.00pm). Thespians provide all actors, lighting and sound effects, souvenir programmes and a prize for the best mystery solver. Venue and refreshments are down to the booker.
Is there a cost?
To provide the entertainment for an evening, typically from 7.00pm to 10.00pm, the Thespians charge £350, plus supper for the cast and crew (about ten people at most).

What is the current season’s mystery?
The 2014 mystery is “Murder At Soggy Bottom” – Another One Bites The Crust!” The residents of the sleepy little vlllage of Soggy Bottom are thrown into tormoil when Lady Victoria Sponge proposes a Great Village Bake-Off to raise funds for the church. Everyone rushes into their kitchens to cook up a storm. But who has upset loveable Ma Baker? why is Lady Victoria so keen to avoid Mrs Bakewell? What has stirred up Mr Huntley and Mr Palmer at “Fancy That!” - the village Tea Room & Antique Boutique. And can the new Vicar, the Rev Simnell stand the heat? Cakes and crime come to Soggy Bottom!

Can I book a mystery for any date? The Thespians Murder Squad are available on many Friday and Saturday evenings through the year except for weeks around the main Thespian productions. Bookings are usually accepted for January, April, May, September, October and December.

Can I have a mystery written for me?
Bespoke mysteries or mysteries from previous seasons may be available. Price on application. Click here for previous seasons’ mysteries.

Why do the Thespians perform these mysteries?
So why do we do it? Several reasons. Firstly as a fundraiser for improvements to our headquarters, The Place. Secondly, it gives us exposure to potential new audiences. We always use the opportunity to promote forthcoming shows. Thirdly, it is great fun and sharpens up our character creation and stretches those improvisation muscles!

Any hints and tips for anyone contemplating booking a mystery?
Think of your venue
The mysteries are performance pieces and the venue needs to make it possible for all guests to see and hear the actors. We have performed in village halls, a church, schools, historic houses, community centres, hotels. Thespians are prepared to consider any venues (and we always carry out a site visit) but we think it works best when guests are seated in a big enough room for everyone to be able to see the action and participate.
Advertise it as a murder mystery
This may sound obvious but a number of people have booked mysteries as surprises for their guests. Although surprise mysteries can be enjoyable, we think from experience that guests tend to get more from the evening if they know what to expect.
Best for grown-ups
All the mysteries are semi-improvised around core stories so can be tweaked to suit specific audiences. We have performed for audiences of mixed ages and the mysteries all have comic elements but many of the motives involve adult themes and are not intended for children. By "adult", we don't mean X-rated in any way, but there may be a bit of innuendo, and having to explain things can spoil the fun a bit!
>>>> Mysteries currently in the repertoire >>>>