Southwick Players – 1st March 2021
Who Dunnit? We Dunnit!
What does an Am Dram group do when a pandemic strikes and live theatre is out of the question? The Southwick Players decided to create an interactive Murder Mystery for the small screen!
This was to be in the spirit of the dinner party murder mysteries of the days when we could have such gatherings, but reinvented for zoom. We began working on a classic murder mystery scenario: Barbara Paige-Turner, a wealthy novelist and demanding woman, had been murdered following the 60 th birthday dinner of her son at the Manor House. Each of the guests had good reason to dislike her, but which of them would go as far as to commit murder?
Rehearsals took place entirely on zoom as the actors prepared their statements. These were introduced and set in context by Inspector Ivor Clue, a sort of master of ceremonies, actor and techie combined. Consideration was given to costume of course as the plot was set in 1933, but we also had to think about the backgrounds – our virtual ‘set’. It is possible to drop in a background to a zoom call, but it was more
fun for each actor to try to find a suitable space and ‘dress’ it with a well-placed pot plant! We also had to be prepared to improvise convincingly during the questioning by the audience as they tried to sift through the evidence. This was quite a challenge and a new skill for the cast.
Sixty-three teams took part over two nights of fund-raising with our new murder mystery evenings, the first in aid of Brighton Lions (raising £762 so far) and the second in aid of the Mayor of Brighton’s charities. This was a completely new venture for the Players and immediate feedback was excellent with further requests for performances so watch this space folks!