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Step-by-step: murder mystery event

As far as adult social events are concerned, murder mystery nights promise lots of fun for a modest amount of effort. They're particularly good for bringing friends together - after all, who can resist a night of spirited super-sleuthing?

  1. Find a suitable venue in which to hold your event. Choose a location which is convenient for the whole community to attend, and make sure there is enough room for all of your guests to sit around tables. Book the venue well in advance and secure the date.
  2. Employing the services of a specialist supplier guarantees a killer evening which your guests will never forget! Although this means you'll have an initial cost up front, it will be worth every penny. The format can differ from company to company - some will simply put on an interactive play where your guests are the detectives, while others will spend the day working with a cast from among your number to perform during the evening.
  3. Consider whether to provide food or ask guests to bring their own. Discuss how the play will be broken down so that you can plan food and refreshments around intervals. A social event of this nature is sure to succeed with a plentiful supply of wine, however check licensing requirements with your local authority if you're selling (or supplying) alcohol. 
  4. Sell tickets in advance and adopt a ticket-only policy on the door. Make sure the ticket price covers your costs and provides a reasonable profit. Source prizes for the winning team - the table who guesses the murderer and motive. If guests are wearing fancy dress, appoint some judges to offer a prize for the best outfit.
  5. Publicise the event well in advance on posters, in the local press and via social media. Generate a buzz of excitement by asking local shops and businesses to display your posters. You'll need a few volunteers to check tickets on arrival and to help set up and clear away.


Murder mystery tips and advice

Theme: Choose which murder mystery play you want and use this theme for the rest of your event. Will you have a 1920s gangster game, a 'killer' reunion, or murder on the dance floor. Use this theme to help define the dress code.

Reviews: If you can, check reviews of the murder mystery company you hope to use, or get a recommendation. You want to make sure the actors are good at getting everyone involved, and holding their attention.

Ticket options: Sell single as well as group tickets (eg, tables of eight) to encourage people to invite their friends along.

Save money: Can you save on overheads by writing and performing your own murder mystery party? If you're feeling ambitious, give yourself plenty of time to work out the logistics, recruit actors and polish your performance. Local amateur dramatics societies or secondary school drama students may also be willing to provide a cost-efective alternative.

The above is intended as guidance only. We recommend that you contact the relevant organisations with specific reference to insurance, legal, health and safety and child protection requirements. Community Inspired Ltd cannot be held responsible for any decisions or actions taken by a PTA, based on the guidance provided. 

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