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Caterham u3a Get Detecting

Group of people on Zoom in fancy dress

Caterham u3a Decided to hold a “Murder Mystery Evening” on Zoom to entertain their members. The cast consisted of members of the committee and two non-committee members. They were supported by a Director, who is a member of our local Dramatic Society – The Miller Centre – and our resident “Zoom” expert.

The “Murder” was supposed to have taken place on a cruise liner during the 1920’s, and the cast donned period costumes, which were very authentic. The script was provided free by the Macmillan Nurses charity, who simply asked us to invite our audience to make a voluntary donation. The donations were anonymous, so there was no compulsion to donate.

The picture shows the cast with their very quaint names – Madame Who-de-Wotwot, Lady Iceberg, Lily Iceberg, Beryl Belter, Roger Right-Hand, Cyril Slick, Captain Crawley Bumble, Marvin Marigold.

Most of the cast were press-ganged into taking part, but after quite a few rehearsals, they all became really keen on making it a success. With their support we were able to provide a fun evening for our members during another long lock down evening.

Phil Singleton our “Technical Director” who works tirelessly behind the scenes controlling the mysterious and complicated wonders of Zoom, and Roger Dale our Director and Master of Ceremonies, who adapted the script for Zoom both played a huge part in making the evening a success.

We were joined by three observers from Chartwell Volunteers who are thinking of doing something similar for their members. I hear that they are considering putting on a live show in a hall if the restrictions allow them to do so.

The “audience” were divided into teams, and during the evening were put in “breakout rooms” at intervals during the investigation which took place after the “murder” where they discussed the previous performance that they had witnessed, and compiled a question which they could put to the cast. The cast were under instructions that they could not lie, but they could prevaricate. The only question the teams were not allowed to ask was “did you do it”?

After 4 rounds of acting and questions, the teams were asked to name the murderer. Only one team guessed correctly, and even the team that contained the husband of the murderer got it wrong!

We received lots of thank you emails after the event. Some people said that they felt that they had had an evening out with friends. We like to include smaller breakout rooms in our events to give members a chance to chat to each other as it’s been so long since we have been able to get together to socialise.