Posts Tagged ‘murder mystery’

The Brilliant Batsby: A Murder Mystery Dinner Party

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016 | Distractions

nye-2015-web

For New Year’s Eve we threw a murder mystery dinner party. I’ve previously written about the event and the food I served. Today, I want to talk about the murder mystery and make it available for anyone who is interested.

The script was based around The Brilliant Batsby, a parody on the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel The Great Gatsby. Set in the Roaring Twenties, the plot involves a dozen characters at one of Batsby’s famous parties. A time traveller, Baron von Brown, turns up with proof that Batbsy will be murdered in the future. But which of the guests did it?

Ready for commercial sale it certainly is not. A good boxed murder mystery allows you to work with any number of characters (or without any) and have a different murderer every time. In my script most of the characters are required and the murder is predetermined. All of this is in the dialogue and difficult to change.

Indeed this almost caused me to come unstuck. Originally The Baron was going to turn up with a motion picture device showing a video of Batsby’s murder. However, my original Batsby was ill and so I had to switch the characters around and switch the video to a letter. This resulted in some clumsy dialogue that doesn’t make a lot of sense. However, it is a parody, so best just to go with it.

The characters are:

  • The Brilliant Batsby, party host
  • Bellina Morgan, wealthy heiress and noted beauty
  • Inspector Watt, a police detective
  • Baron von Brown, a time traveller from the future
  • Mona Moonshine, infamous bootlegger
  • Murderous Joe, a convicted criminal
  • Chef Gusteau, a chef hired to cater the party
  • Professor Laura Craft, archeologist and raider of tombs
  • Timothy Timson, Professor Craft’s assistant
  • Dr Victor Zoidberg, an Austrian psychologist
  • Any number of additional characters

There are a series of 11 dialogues. Each one can be read between courses. However, if by some chance you do not have 11 courses, you could batch them. This makes sense as they are not very long, and sometimes left a conversation gap after they had finished.

If you are interested in having a look, I’ve shared the files: download them here.

New Year’s Eve 2015

Tuesday, January 12th, 2016 | Events

nye-2015-web

For New Year’s Eve 2015 we ditched our traditional party format in favour of a murder mystery dinner party. This came with its pros and cons.

On the downside, the logistics of getting everyone round the table complicated matters. We have more friends that would fit round, so I had to omit some people from the invite list. A few people were ill at the last minute, so this further complicated the situation. On the plus side though between the murder mystery and the food, people seemed to be entertained throughout the evening.

The murder mystery itself has lots of room for improvement. The dialogue could probably be condensed into bigger sections, as it was a bit start and stop. That would avoid it breaking into conversation unless there was a length chunky of stuff to do. Once I have cleaned up the typos I will post it on here for other people to look through.

The food went well. We only got through nine of the 11 courses I had planned. Everything went smoothly and it did not feel like much of a rush. Whether that was because I was able to do a lot of the work before, or whether it was because everything was broken down into separate courses rather than one big-bang service, I am not sure. I suspect it is a combination of the two.

We had plenty of left-overs:

everything-meal

Our dinner the day after consisted of smoked-salmon on maneesh, meatballs, breaded fish, gammon and Yorkshires. A mixed grill of left-overs.

Lunch was taken care of by our usual trip for recovery steak. We opted for Miller & Carter because you can always get a table and the food is pretty good. The price of your steak includes chips, salad and sauce, which makes it good value.