Whoops - A Murder!

And the question is … which of you did it?


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Choose from our unique range of carefully crafted scenarios, in which you and your guests can enjoy acting fun and quirky characters, unravel a gripping mystery, and savour the age-old pleasure of a good story.

The Sticky End of Sartor



Note - when we send out the emails, individual players do not receive the whole script, only their own lines (and, as cues, the words which immediately precede them).

The first seven speeches:

1 Hermit: Good day, my good villagers. As most of you know, I like to keep myself to myself, and rarely leave my cave. Hence I am little acquainted with your persons or the village’s customs. I know nothing of this Sartor or who might have killed him, let alone why the Bard threw me in among the suspects. If you ask me, he’s getting on a bit. Bards are not what they used to be.
    But I digress. All I have learned about the case so far is that Sartor went out hunting in the morning, and returned in time for lunch, where many people saw him. His corpse was found a few hours before sundown, so he must have been killed at some point in the afternoon. If we are to move beyond these simple facts, I think we should start by introducing ourselves.

2 Chief: A very useful suggestion, lady Hermit. As I’m Chief, I’ll start. I have been in charge round here for as long as anyone can remember. Only two days ago, Sartor became engaged to my beautiful daughter Belle [point]. There was a wonderful party in the evening, the mead and ale flowed like rivers. Sartor and I followed all the proper ceremonies: we shared a drink from the ritual cup, and very good it was too; we swapped our weapons, sang the wedding song, and shook hands. What can I say, I looked forward to having him as a son-in law.

3 Belle: My poor, poor, lost love. As you know, two evenings ago I became Sartor’s fiancée. I had known him for little more than two weeks, but it seemed like two lifetimes – and always will. His death is sad, he had such a hard life. You see, his first marriage, decades ago, was a tragic experience: his wife cooped herself up in the house, started obsessing about stars and the heavens and things, and refused to see anyone. In the end she went properly mad, and, too tormented to stay, he left her.
    After that he became shy, a recluse, and spent many years in a barren unhappiness. But when he met me, he suddenly became relaxed and personable again, and felt happy. He told me all this with tears in his eyes and a lump in his throat. Had we been together, he would have enjoyed a peace of mind and spirit that he will now never know.

4 Maid: Welcome to this village, lady Hermit, where I am but a temporary resident. I was poor Sartor’s personal maid. He chose me long ago, before setting out on his travels, and I always took very good care of him, just as he treated me with great kindness. I knew him so well, I doubt he had a single secret from me!
    I am sorely angered by this hateful crime, but do not think the reason is too far to seek: my master’s death will very likely result in war between this village and his people, and this will cause a great traffic of new weapons. The village Stonecutter [point] will profit no end, just think of the demand for axes and arrow-heads! Not to mention the Merchant [point], who will do a rip-roaring trade in slings and bandages. Just look at the pair of them, smirking like a couple of Orang-Utangs. Guilty as guilt is guilt!

5 Amazon: How tedious your poisoned words are! Let me introduce myself, O Hermit. I, like the victim, am a foreign envoy here. I represent the faraway tribe of the Amazons, so people here simply call me Amazon.
    Me being the murderess is a laughable notion! We Amazons certainly kill, but only on the battlefield or when we hunt. And in any case, I have an alibi: I spent yesterday afternoon with the village Stonecutter, learning about your local techniques of chiseling and so on. He will tell you I could not have killed Sartor, for we were together from lunch until sundown. And likewise, I can vouch for him. So your snide accusation, Maid, crumbles away like a fistful of sand.

6 Stonecutter: Hail, all the company. I am the village Stonecutter, and just as Amazon said, she and I spent the afternoon together in my quarry, until we heard the news of Sartor’s death. So much for the Maid’s insinuations.
    Let me point out that our Apothecary lost considerably through Sartor’s presence in the village. For while the Apothecary was away – nobody knows on what business – her field was requisitioned, in order that Sartor’s dwelling could be built there. As far as I know, she is the only person who was harmed by Sartor’s presence in the village, so the stallions of my suspicion gallop towards her.

7 Guard: Certainly it is natural for you to have suspicions, O Stonecutter. For I have long maintained that you are a highly suspicious character! I, Madam Hermit, am the Guard of the temple precinct, located in the centre of the village. In the course of my duties, I have often seen the Stonecutter snooping about in the vicinity of the precinct. I imagine he was waiting for an opportunity to do wrong of some sort, though whether to steal the odd stone from the temple sanctuary, or to pounce and kill, I would not care to say.
    Anyway, alibi or no alibi, you may not yet have heard that Sartor was killed just outside the Stonecutter’s house! Perhaps the Merchant, who also stands to profit immensely from Sartor’s death, has something to say about this interesting coincidence?





Note - individual players do not receive the entire script, only their own lines (and, as cues, the words which immediately precede them).

(A thousand apologies to William Shakespeare ...)

Scene 1
Day 1, before dawn
Hamlet’s school

1 Hamlet: Horatio, I have a predicament to wrap in the rawest of breath. My Father hath sent me a letter abrupt and dark, requesting I return to Elsinore at once. These precipitate summons beburden my soul, and perplex it. Oh, the spurns that patient merit of the unworthy takes! [sigh deeply]

2 Horatio: O Hamlet! Thou hast tears in thine eyes, distraction in thine aspect, and a broken voice. And thou didst raise a sigh so piteous and profound, as it did seem to shatter all thy bulk, and end thy being. How I do combust and ache when thoughts of home stab thee in the stomach. I could vent eloquent words on this king who doth bully my friend his son.

[aside]: For this is not the first time it happens.

3 Hamlet: I foresee the journey’s end in salty eyes. Horatio, wouldst thou consent to thread thy steps with mine, all the way to the stony coldness of the palace walls? To have thee at my side would assuage my weakness when I face the outburst. For this once, I’ll not be juggled with.

4 Horatio: But Hamlet, of course I shall be glad for my sole to plough the miles. And the fair Ophelia will also be there to breath gladness on thine anguish. But say - didst thou find no solace in the meeting yesterday eve?

5 Hamlet: Hark, Horatio, the meeting! It had passed my mind, scattered by the storms of feeling which move at the paternal command. But verily, it was a momentous occasion. We held it in secret, and all swore together to protect the pact. It opened my spirit to great and worthy deeds. Thou wouldst have been a-fired too, for sure. A wind of change will sweep through Denmark, tugging at the cord which drags tomorrow into now. But come, we must go pack, if we are to exit the school gates before the sun dries the ground of dew.

Scene 2
Day 1, evening
A corridor in Elsinore

6 Gertrude: Hark, Ophelia! Tarry an instant. What grief doth ruffle thy brow, and sensibly slacken the commotion of gaieties which is thy wonted badge? If thou wouldst pour words of discomfort into mine ears, I shall offer service as a friendly sponge.

7 Ophelia: Alas, lady queen. My thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth. Your husband, the king my lord, lately seems ill-disposed towards the marriage with which Prince Hamlet and I hope to seal our love. I have long heard his majesty rumble ill thoughts, and fix me with postulant stares such as a rodent might reserve for the fangs of a viper. And yesterday I learned he had forbad the marriage. My future crumbles in hopes forlorn.

8 Gertrude: Courage, Ophelia dear. Know I think, and think I know most sure, the king hath no real quarrel with your marriage. ’Tis a predicament of more general kind. For reasons which are sad to tell, my husband eateth ill, sleepeth worse, and for all those around him he reserveth harsh words, dished up with frowns to match. [sighing] He makes no exception of his wife. For he is mad, with a corrosive bewilderment of mind – the boar of Thessaly was never so wild. But once his mood recovers, as the doctors bid me hope, the ban on your marriage shall be forgot.

9 Ophelia: Oh, queen Gertrude, what hope you do give me! Perhaps, then, the wedding may yet take place! [thinking aloud] Hamlet, dearest Hamlet! I bow thee a courtesy in the courtyard of my thoughts, I blow thee a kiss with the lips of my imagination.

10 Gertrude: Thou shalt kiss thy beloved sooner than thou thinkest. The king hath commanded him to return hither from school, and travel fast.

11 Ophelia: Hamlet returneth afore the end of term? Oh, joy and gladness, they trip from my heart-strings like notes from a lute. I would run to the king, clasp his knees, and thank him for this tender mercy.

12 Gertrude: Alas dear Ophelia, ’tis no mercy. Instead I sense some sour distemper. Poor boy, with a father so meddling. Some day, it will lead to grief. At all events, thy Hamlet shall be with us in the morn. Think of that, and be happy. The clouds which thicken above shall not trouble us till they start to rain.

[What about the murder, you may be wondering - Ah, you'll have to play the game to find out!]


The Black Pearl



Note - individual players do not receive the entire script, only their own lines (and, as cues, the words which immediately precede them).

The first eight speeches:

1 Captain: Well well, so here we are. As old Admiral Cornflower always used to say to buccaneers before hanging ’em high – “Shall we go through the formalities” ... ?    I’m Horatio Fortescue, and I knew the Admiral for decades. I came up today for our weekly game of chess. He fails to show up for ages, then it turns out he’s dead! Murdered! A darn shame!

2 Boatman: Aye, Cap’n, ’tis a matter foul and loathsome beyond imagining. Not even Blackbeard’s evil twin would have been so cruel. It is simply criminal to kill an honourable seaman on land – he should have been allowed to walk the plank, play with the sharks, and rest his mortal remains at the bottom of Davy Jones’s locker! The way we all hope to go.

3 Duchess: [ironically] Why thank you, Mister Boatman, for these penetratingly intelligent remarks, which I am sure will do much to soothe poor Marigold’s feelings. If that is the kind of contribution which we can look forward to in the course of this investigation, I have a good mind to return to the mainland!

4 Everyone: [ironically] Ooooh!

5 Duchess: [haughtily] Ahem. Well, anyway. I am the Duchess of Pembertonshire, wife of Lord Pemberton, who is their Majesties’ Governor in these parts. The Admiral had once been so kind as to make me a small loan, and I came today to make a repayment towards it, as I had done several times already. I brought the Doctor in my boat, as he requested a lift of me.

6 Doctor: Indeed, Your Grace, that would be me. I was the Admiral’s personal physician ever since I first arrived here, just after they renovated the church tower. I quite often try to hitch lifts to this island – I am something of an amateur painter, you see, and it offers excellent vistas onto the mainland – doesn’t it, Marigold?

7 Daughter: [sighing] I don’t know, Doctor, my mind is elsewhere... Anyway, you all know me. Father was my father. Oh dear, how silly. I mean: I am the Admiral’s daughter. We lived alone on the island, except that Bob the Boatman came over ever day, and Aunty Jane arrived recently. That was quite a shock, I didn’t even know I had an aunt!

8 Sister: Poor child. So young, so innocent... My story begins in the distant days of my youth. The Admiral, or Tommy as I always called him, was my brother – but a long-lost one: we were parted from each other in our early teens, half a century ago, in the course of a terrible shipwreck.


The Ambassador's Notebook



Note - individual players do not receive the entire script, only their own lines (and, as cues, the words which immediately precede them).

(In this preview, the Journalist is female; the game can also be ordered so he is male)

Scene 1
At the front door of the Manor Hotel
[doorbell rings]

1 Proprietress: [soliloquising, en route to door] Dear me, dear me! Whoever can it be, calling even before I’ve sounded the breakfast gong? No bother, I hope. I already had enough of that when the telephone call came for Mister Sullivan in the middle of the night. Scandalous, I call it, what these folks demand of a poor hotel keeper. [doorbell rings again] Yes yes, I’m coming. Telephone calls in the middle of the night, indeed! They will be wanting hot chocolate for breakfast next! For two pins, I’d give it all up and go and retire somewhere warmer. [opening door, and seeing Journalist] Hello my dear, what can I do for you?

2 Journalist: Good morning, you must be Mrs Sweetpotts. And what a fitting name it must be, too! I can only imagine what wonderful dishes you must cook up. How do you do? And how do you do your hair so nicely? You must have a Parisian coiffeur! But silly me, I digress. My name is Jackie, and I’ve come about the advert in the paper.

3 Proprietress: [confused] I beg your pardon? Do you mean the position as a maid? But that was advertised next door.

4 Journalist: No no, I assure you, no-one ever made me do anything. Ha ha. But oh. Maybe you’re not aware. One of your guests placed an advert in this morning’s paper, which interests me greatly. It is imperative I speak to him most urgently. And in the strictest confidence. A Mr Sullivan.

5 Proprietress: Really?[aside:] I shall have something to say to that Mr Sullivan, oh won’t I just! Young ladies calling unaccompanied – she’ll be wanting to see the wallpaper in his bedroom next!Oh well my dear, why don’t you come and sit inside? [Journalist comes in, and they close the door] If you wait a few minutes till the breakfast gong, I’ll make you a nice cup of tea, and Mr Sullivan will be down with the rest of them. Just wait in the little lounge, down the passage-way and to the left.

6 Journalist: Oh, you are a dear! [doorbell rings] And there goes the door again. I’ll scamper off ahead.

7 Proprietress: [opening door] Good morning. Can I help you?

8 Neighbour: How do you do? I knock before the day gyrates in full, and the pearls of my esteem roll at your feet, dimmed by the gray shine of apology. I’ve come to trade words with one of your residents. Time axes itself, and the matter grows urgent.

9 Proprietress: Ah, Mr Sullivan, no doubt? And in the strictest confidence?

10 Neighbour: Indeed. [in a mystical reverie:] A league of forces aligned in eventuation, and their whirring chime grating on the ear of pessimism. [as if suddenly woken up:] But - how did you know it was Sullivan?

11 Proprietress: Just a hunch. Why don’t you come this way, and in a few minutes’ time you can meet everybody at breakfast? I’ll get you a nice cup of tea, and Mr Sullivan will be there shortly. Down the passage, on the left. I’ll come and fetch you presently.[Neighbour exits; doorbell rings]

12 Proprietress: [to self:] Whatever next? [seeing Collector:] Good morning. Are you also here to see Mr Sullivan?

13 Collector: So I am, m’dear. Aren’t you a clever little bird? Lucky for me I’m not a cat looking for lunch, eh? I’d go hungry! But yes, my starling, He’s expecting me. I have to see him urgently.

14 Proprietress: And, of course, in the strictest confidence. Well, come this way – you can join the queue to see him at breakfast.

[As you may have guessed, there are a few odd things about this Mr Sullivan ...]


The Golden Scarab



Note - individual players do not receive the entire script, only their own lines (and, as cues, the words which immediately precede them).

Scene 1
A passageway in Pharaoh’s palace; then the General’s room

1 Princess: Why hello, Mistress Architect, has the General called you too?

2 Architect: [to Princess:] O most reverend lotus flower of the gods, sister to Isis and Nephtys, protectress of the widow and the orphan: in truth, his lordship the General did summon me, but the wherefore is unbeknown to me.

3 Princess: My goodness, you foreigners don’t half talk funny. But here comes the Soothsayer. He will surely know, for he knows all things. [to Soothsayer:] What ho, wise one, are you also on your way to the General?

4 Soothsayer: Indeed I am, my discerning and inquisitive Princess. It’s most troublesome, most annoying. I was just entering a state of mystical rapture, in which prophecies of the utmost importance were speeding towards me. And just as I was about to deliver them, to unfurl them into words - pah! The wretched General has to go and interrupt it all. And now - oh, by the gods! [turning away from the Embalmer, whom you dislike]

[enter Embalmer]

5 Embalmer: [with obvious dislike] Well well well, if it isn’t our savvy old Soothsayer! Complaining about being interrupted! If your previous predictions are anything to go by, I’d say you were stopped just in time! You’re bad enough with small things, with important ones you could be truly calamitous. [To Princess and Architect] But good day, Princess, and you too, Architect. I take it we are all heading to the same place. Does anyone know the why?

6 Architect: We are at a loss, Master Embalmer. We are in the thickness of our perdition. I was hoping I might have been called to receive compliments on my work. In my native and faraway Assyria, when one is summoned before the powerful, it is always a good and healthy thing. But here ...

7 Soothsayer: Tut tut, the old darling isn’t that bad. Let’s see what he wants. [knock].

[They enter the General’s room]

[If you want to know what they will hear from the General – you’ll have to pay the game!]


Box Number Six

Box Number Six
Coming Soon!


Note - individual players do not receive the entire script, only their own lines (and, as cues, the words which immediately precede them).