Thank you so much for booking on one of my Original Murder Weekends. I am so pleased that you will be joining the many thousands of people in our ‘Murder Weekend Family’. It’s hard to believe this is my 137th new plot since we performed the very first ever Murder Weekend, on 30th October 1981, which eventually led to an innovative worldwide industry of interactive Murder Mysteries.
Crikey, 37 years, where did they go? I am so thankful to still be here after so long and am very much looking forward to entertaining you with my unique brand of murder, mayhem and most importantly, laughter! I hope you love the plot and enjoy all the many twists and turns that I promise there will be.
If this is your first time, we really hope that you thoroughly enjoy the 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 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 really 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 really get involved.
When Meryl Streep referred to the Mary Poppins as a ‘gift to the world’, I suddenly had a lightbulb moment, I had never done a proper sequel, I always try to create new themes, but there are some hidden gems which have been locked away, never to see the light of day again – or so I thought! Almost in that moment I remembered one of my all-time favourite plots – it was called ‘It’s a Kinda Magic’ and was based around a Queen Fan Club. With the worldwide success of the film ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ I thought what better time than now to create the sequel to one of my favourite and most tricky plots!
When we send you out the Theme Plot letter, it will be accompanied by a “Story So Far” sheet – another first for me! I hope that you will enjoy learning some of the details of the plot, before you even arrive on the weekend!
The original theme for the weekend in 2006, was “It’s a Kind of Magic”, the name of a fictitious website dedicated to the rock group Queen, where fans of the group – and their many detractors – who could exchange views, messages, gossip or just chitchat. Don’t worry too much about the theme, or if Queen really aren’t your thing. It is just a fun vehicle to explain why a group of total strangers would meet at a hotel and, once the murders start, it quickly fades into the background as you turn sleuth to deduce the reasons and motives for a series of untimely deaths. We do hope you will enjoy playing along with the main characters, but you won’t be quizzed on your role, unless you want to be! And once the murders begin, it is for you to quiz our characters!
The website “It’s a Kind of Magic” was run by Freddie Mercury (John Walker the founder changed his name by deed poll in honour of his deceased idol). Freddie and his family were all keen Queen fans and excited about meeting all the many members of his fan club website for the first time.
But 13 years ago Freddie was deeply traumatised when the first social weekend was blighted when three of his guests were viciously slain during the course of the weekend! Thankfully the police did their job splendidly and by Sunday the murderer had been arrested and all of Freddie’s guests were allowed to leave and try to get back to their normal lives. It was obviously the end of the “It’s a Kinda Magic” Club and Freddie was so depressed he dissolved the club, changed his name back to John and tried to get back to his life without people remembering that he was the one that had created the perfect storm for a murderer to strike!
Horrified by these events, John was deeply depressed and was eventually diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) but after 10 years of help from doctors and mental health practitioners, John finally felt able to get back to one of his main love music and the band with which he was previously obsessed, Queen!
John has decided to create a new fan club – ‘’GA GA’’ – Mad for Queen. Not only will it be a fan club for Queen, but he is also dedicated to raising awareness and money for Mental Health Charities, to which he has now committed most of his free time. He has even met the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, through his charity work and believes that music is so important in our lives. As one famous philosopher once said, ‘’ Without music, life would be a mistake!’’
You could pretend that you were an original member of ‘It’s a Kinda Magic’, or you have just joined the newly created the “GA GA” Club, not knowing its history of horrors! You could be here with your partner, only because he or she insists, but you don’t like Queen and are attending the weekend under sufferance!
We always have a colour theme on Friday night and over the years we’ve done so many of the obvious colours, but one thing I don’t remember doing is silver and gold, which seems very regal! So if we all wore black with silver and gold accents, ties, socks, jewellery, or we could wear gold from head to toe, suits, dresses, t shirts, hats. It’s weird but whenever I decide on a theme, I see it everywhere. I don’t know whether I just start noticing, or whether it’s a current trend, but in every magazine I have seen sparkly gold and silver bags, ties, dresses and shirts; so even if you haven’t got something in your wardrobe you should be able to find something in your local charity shop. But please don’t spend lots of money, as much as possible try and find things that you already have.
As usual, throughout the weekend, there will be some great themed games, with prizes for the winning tables (but NOT for ‘Googlers’!!). None of them are complicated but just a light-hearted way to get you chatting to your fellow guests to break the ice and alleviate the stress on your brains from trying to make sense of the dastardly deeds – after all, if we were only sitting around talking about murder, it could get quite deep and dark and what we most enjoy on Murder Weekends is to laugh!
Nothing is compulsory on Murder Weekends, so if you’d rather sit out a game, go for a snooze or visit the Incident Room to study the evidence, that’s absolutely fine. But remember there is always quite a lot of action and we have to do that when all the guests are assembled. This is usually over mealtimes and also 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!
On Saturday night, there will be a fun themed party. On our last plot the theme was ‘My favourite things’ – we asked guests to create an outfit that would represent their favourite song from a musical – it really was one of the best themed parties we’ve ever had, some of the outfits were brilliant – some so simple and then when we found out what they were we couldn’t stop laughing at how clever and subtle they were. Some guests said to me I was hoping it was going to be my Favourite Pop Song – who am I to ignore their requests! The theme for this party is ‘’My Favourite Pop Song Ever’’!
You could wear pyjamas with a hard hat – ‘’A Hard Day’s Night’’; you could wear two clocks, one on the front saying 9.00 am, the other on the back with 5.00 pm – good old Dolly! You could google a photo of a field of corn, put on a yellow T shirt and be Sting’s ‘Fields of Gold’. There are literally thousands to choose from, but over the years we’ve found that the simplest ideas are often the best and many of our guests say that half the fun is creating their costume before the weekend to get them in the mood. So do as little or as much as you would like, the choice is yours. But if you don’t like ‘fancy dress’, just come as yourself, look up to the heavens every time someone says what are you – you can reply, I’m a ‘Daydream Believer’
Please don’t hire anything unless you want to, we’d hate you to spend any money on what is, after all, just a bit of fun which always causes amusement and is a great photo opportunity for our guests. If you do get stuck, give Geri a ring at our office and she’ll help you with some ideas.
The Murder plot lasts for the entire weekend and the actors will be in character from the welcome reception on Friday night until the end of the summing up on Sunday. Over the course of the weekend there will be at least three murders in the complex plot and so that no one misses anything, they usually occur when everyone is together. Saturday morning is free and you won’t miss anything by going out shopping or visiting the local places of interest, but do pop in to the Police Incident Room to see the first pieces of evidence before you go out. Although the police will have announced on their arrival that no one is allowed to leave the hotel, I’m sure they’ll turn a blind eye!!
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. Please read them as they will help. It is also a good idea to bring along a small notepad and pen to jot down conversations you overhear or evidence you think is important.
As we’ve already explained, the main reason for the plot theme is so we can all role-play and get involved, which adds to the realism of the characters and, consequently, the plot. If there’s anything that you’re unsure of before the weekend, please do not hesitate to ring us at the Murder Weekend office.
We very much look forward to meeting you on Friday at the Welcome Reception at 8.00pm, before dinner at 8.30 pm. We hope you have a marvellous time and manage to crack the case, which will be solved when the Detective makes an arrest at 12 noon on Sunday, before we check out at 12.30pm.