Thank you so much for booking on to one of my Original Murder Weekends. I am delighted that you will be joining the many thousands of people in our ‘Murder Weekend Family’ particularly this winter, which sees two amazing milestones in the life of my Original Murder Weekends.
Firstly, it is forty years since I took my idea to the US and performed the very first one in New York at the Vista hotel over the Halloween weekend. It caused a sensation and attracted publicity all over the states. Secondly and something I’m both amazed and extremely proud of, this will be my 150th plot – nearly double what my heroine and inspiration, Dame Agatha Christie, wrote.
If this is your first time, we really hope that you thoroughly enjoy your experience and that we live up to your expectations. If you’ve been before, thank you so much for returning, welcome back and thank you for spreading the word!
Each original murder weekend plot is based around a fictitious theme which is the vehicle to explain why a random group of strangers would all meet up together in a hotel for the weekend. We hope that you, our very welcome guests, will enjoy playing along with the main characters in our plot. I always try to create a fun theme where we can all stretch our imagination and become people that we’re not, both actors and guests – and I hope that I’ve come up with a theme where we can all get involved.
As I always do for special anniversaries, I always have a Murder Mystery theme, and this is no exception. My passion is films and Musical Theatre and many years ago I wrote a Murder Mystery Musical and it’s been gathering dust waiting for Andrew Lloyd Webber to come knocking on my door – he hasn’t yet – so I thought why not have fun with it and get it out there for all to enjoy.
My 150th plot is going to be about an ingenious and exciting new musical ‘We are Detective’! An interactive Murder Mystery Musical that is going to open June 2024 in the off-West End, Bush Theatre in Shepherds Bush. This is a weekend for auditions – being held by the director Saxon Waitt, who is looking for enthusiastic and amateur technicians, joiners, set and costume designers as well as the singers and musicians that it takes to put on a musical.
Saxon is quite famous, a seasoned musical theatre actor and director, who having worked in both the West End and on Broadway is keen to give everyone a shot at what is an exclusive and quite sniffy industry. It is hard to get your foot on the ladder and Saxon knows there is so much talent out there that never gets a look in.
Being lucky and not having to worry about investment, Saxon thinks this will be an exciting and revolutionary departure from the norm and will set a new precedent. We would love you to arrive with a back story that you have often dreamed of being involved in a west end production and that you have worked on the scenery for your daughter’s school panto; that you have sung in your local rock choir and believe that you are destined for greater things, that you are a painter and decorator and dreamed of going wild on stage sets that would cater to your outrageous and exciting imagination, perhaps you have examples of your creative work. After a relaxing evening of meeting, greeting, and getting to know your opposition, the auditions are due to start on Saturday morning, but sadly events of Friday night may put an end to all the competitive posturing by the wannabes and the starlets – as the Murder Mystery becomes a real song for the dead!
On Murder Weekends we always have a colour theme for Friday night, and I think for such a truly amazing milestone, it had to be pure gold! So, anything you feel comfortable in, whatever you fancy – anything goes on Murder Weekends. Whether it’s something you find at the back of your wardrobe, or something you wish to make, whatever you choose, there will be a prize for our favourite.
On Saturday night it has always been our famous Themed Party and Disco. Our Alphabet parties have always gone so well and for this plot, we are going for “Things beginning with A” for Auditions – it could be a film, a TV show, a food a person, there are thousands and thousands to choose from, but if fancy dress isn’t your bag, please don’t worry, just sticking something on a jumper would work.
Often the simplest ideas are the most subtle and ingenious but some of our talented guests love spending weeks making their outfits, which they say extends the enjoyment of their weekends.
You only have to look at the photo albums on our Facebook pages (Joy Swift’s Original Murder Weekends and Joy Swift’s Original Murder Weekends Discussion Group) and you will see some of the most amazing, hand made outfits imaginable! Our guests are so much fun, talented, and ingenious, some of their outfits are quite spectacular and breathtaking!
As usual there will be some fun themed games, with prizes for the winning table or individuals (but not for Googlers) None of them are too complicated but are just a light-hearted way to get you socializing with your fellow guests. Also it lightens the mood, if we were just seriously sleuthing and discussing murder, it could get quite deep and dark, and there’s nothing, absolutely nothing we like more, than laughing on weekends and I promise you we do a lot of that> One guest was once quoted in a newspaper that we should be prescribed on the NHS, after all laughter has been proven to be the best medicine. Nothing is compulsory on weekends so if you’d rather sit out a game, go for a snooze, swim or visit the Incident Room to study the evidence, that’s fine, but be sure to be with everyone else for meals and events, as when everyone is together, that’s when things tend to happen!!
Nothing is compulsory on Murder Weekends, so if you’d rather not wear fancy dress or want to sit out a game, go for a snooze or visit the Incident Room to study the evidence, that’s fine. But remember there is always quite a lot of action and we only have rows, deaths etc when all the guests are assembled. This is usually over mealtimes and sometimes when we’re marking games, so even if you don’t play, do come back, otherwise you may miss something vital that’s related to the plot, like another murder! Timings will be in the timetable in your arrival welcome pack.
We know you’ll have a lot of fun no matter how you decide to play the game, but for those of you who want to solve the crime, I have enclosed some tips on ‘How to Play’. Please read them as they will help. It is also a good idea to bring along a notepad and pen to jot down conversations you overhear or evidence you think is important.
I hope you love the plot and enjoy all the many twists, turns and laughter that I promise there will be! Thank you for being part of our ‘Original Murder Mystery Family’, a nicer family you could never wish to meet!
We very much look forward to meeting you on Friday at the Welcome Reception at 8.00pm, before dinner at 8.30pm. We hope you have a marvellous time and manage to crack the case, which will be solved before the weekend finishes at 12.30 on Sunday.