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’. I just can’t believe that it is our 38th anniversary and that this will be my 139th plot. I invented a new concept in 1981 which I took overseas and which is now a worldwide industry of interactive Murder Events. This has also created many hundreds of interactive spin-offs like clue hunts around cities and escape rooms etc, but I’m not sure that they will still be going in 38 years – perhaps escape rooms on the moon!!
I am so grateful when I think that I’ve been here for so long, very happily spending so much of my time with such lovely actors and fabulous guests. What a super career I created for myself! Where else could I spend so much time laughing, screaming, fighting and causing mayhem in everyone’s lives?! I hope you love the new plot and enjoy all the many twists, turns and laughter 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 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 really involved. When I was very young, I loved nothing better than playing Cluedo and Monopoly with my family. Maybe that is what led me to my rather strange and exciting career. I learnt last month that it is Cluedo’s 70th anniversary in November this year, it was launched on the 13th November 1949! I felt that I had to pay tribute to my inspiration and so have come up with the new theme, ‘BOARDOM’.
Darcy Channing, an App entrepreneur and the daughter of a very famous scientist and inventor, was fed up with not being able to have a normal social life with ordinary people who weren’t bowing and scraping and who just wanted to be her friend because of her famous father Frank. Darcy, a quick thinker and board game enthusiast, wanted to go somewhere where she could play games with like-minded people who didn’t care about her fortune. She took over a local café for a night, under the pseudonym of Janie Dowler, and put an ad in the local paper, inviting people to come and play for a small fee to cover a bowl of chilli, glass of wine and coffee. The café was rammed, the owner was delighted and it became a monthly thing. Many of the attendees became friends and few of them knew who the founder was; they thought that she was just a great person with a love of games.
Darcy, met several potential partners, but as soon as they knew her true identity, they either used her or were so in awe of her fame and wealth that they disappeared. True love was not to be found locally, so Darcy spread her wings, and now ten years later, there are 20 Boardom Clubs around the country. Darcy visits them regularly, but now, after a tabloid expose, everyone knows and loves her for who she really is. Darcy has created a Boardom App so all the club members can play with each other at any time and not just on Boardom Café nights.
Everyone loves Darcy for what she’s created, so much so she has now decided to create Boardom Weekends, where members can come and play and socialise even more, with games, good food and a disco on Saturday night. It’s going to be a fabulously fun and sociable weekend.
We thought all our guests could have so much fun with this theme. You could create a new personae like Darcy. Don’t be an teacher, be a Russian Oligarch’s trophy wife who has escaped the confines of her home and slipped past the bodyguards! Or you could be a Realty TV celebrity who just yearns to return to normality, or you could be indulging in an illicit affair and have come away with your mistress or your paramour. Whatever you choose, just have fun. Be someone you would like to be, or just be yourself, it’s up to you – but whoever you decide to be, you are a keen member of the Boardom Café and are really looking forward to the fun weekend ahead.
We always have a colour theme on Friday night and over the years we’ve done so many of the obvious colours. For this plot, I have decided to do with one of the oldest board games of all time – CHESS. So raid your wardrobe for anything black and white. Your tuxedos and ballgowns, your pyjamas, even your forensic suit! An easy colour theme, which always looks so smart. 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 fun 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 fine. But remember there is always quite a lot of action and we always 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 pack.
On Saturday night, there will be a themed party. A few years ago we did an ‘F’ night where everyone had to come as something or someone that began with ‘F’. It was so much fun as it was so diverse. For the last plot we had the letter ‘L’ and again, some of the most extravagant and creative costumes we’ve ever seen, alongside some of the simplest and hilarious ones. So I’ve decided that we should have ‘B for Board Game’. It could be a film, a TV show, a food, a person – there are thousands upon 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 most simple ideas are the most subtle and ingenious, and you can do as much or as little as you want. For example, wear black clothes and stick a picture of a snake on your shirt – ‘Blackadder’; or you could print a ‘Bulls Eye’ and wear it on your shirt. On the other hand, you could spend weeks making your costumes, as some of our guests love to do, saying it’s the fun build up which means their weekend starts weeks before they arrive! You could spend weeks making a giant explosion (boxes, crepe and tinsel at the ready!!) – ‘Big Bang Theory’!!
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 8.30pm. 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.