Last night, eighty of us were packed around tables at St Chad’s Anglican-Methodist Church, Huapai, for our Murder Mystery Dinner “Death by Cooperation”. The Bishop opened the meeting, the sudden death was discovered and, as the Detective Chief Inspector, I was woken up and commissioned to lead the table groups in solving the mystery.
As the soup was about to be served the lights went out. Many people thought it was part of the show. But after a few minutes of local men stumbling around in the dark to see what fuses had blown, it became apparent we had a serious problem. The power had failed at the pole fuse in the street. Nothing could be done because nobody present knew who the power supplier was.
However, within minutes some people had popped home or to the supermarket around the block for candles. The show proceeded according to schedule: everyone threw themselves into it, the suspects made their statements and answered questions at the tables and, eventually, in spite of the difficulty of reading clue cards and other resources by candlelight, the denouement revealed that one table solved the murder and the guilty party was arrested.
It was another hilarious evening, made all the more exciting by the difficult conditions in which it was held. It’s been a privilege to be a part of bringing so much enjoyment to so many people through so improbable a scenario as the merging of three congregations in a mythical small town. Next Friday, we’ll be with Beckenham Methodists where, hopefully, the power will be on for the whole evening.
“Death by Cooperation” is available as a complete kitset on CD ROM. You can do it yourself, or negotiate with Bev and me to stage it for you.