Picking a Murder Mystery Theme
As we usually create our devilish murder mystery scenarios from scratch to suit the hosting group, your event isn't tied to a fixed set of pre-written plots. With this freedom comes another problem - selecting an appropriate theme for your dinner party or weekend. Whilst we are happy to suggest ideas that will suit your circumstances, you may like to use the information on this page to help you come up with your own ideas.
The theme you select will usually consist of one or more of the following:
- The place - eg. India, Italy, rural England, outer space,
- The time - eg. modern day, World War II, Victorian Era, the future,
- The people - ie. what links the suspects, eg. family members, company employees, Doctor Who fans, bird-watchers,
- The specific location - eg. a castle, an hotel, a school, a zoo,
- The event - ie. why the suspects are gathered together eg. a wedding reception, a business or group meeting, the reading of the will
A typical example could be the United States during Prohibition - a group of gangsters gather together in a speakeasy to discuss criminal tactics. Or, more simply you could chose to host an event set in contemporary India and leave the specifics to us. If you want to select your own theme then consider the following to help you decide.
Location, location, location
If you know where you are planning to hold your event then this can immediately suggest a theme. For example if you are dining in a Regency house then why not select a scenario with a 19th century theme à la Pride and Prejudice? Or if you are booking a football stadium then a football theme is an obvious choice.
Often the invited guests will be drawn together by a common interest. If you are arranging an event for a club or society then a storyline which matches the aims of the organisation is an obvious starting point. For example we have arranged events for a French twinning assocation and a carnival society where the themes were an Anglo/French meeting and a carnival dinner respectively.
If you are a planning a party for people who work together then this too can point you in the right direction. We can even incorporate company in-jokes and buzz words into the scenario and maybe name the suspects after your competitors!
Dish of the Day
Events are often structured around a meal and you or your caterers may have a particular strength or fondness for a particular style of cooking. This can immediately suggest a place for your event - popular styles include Indian, Chinese, Mexican, Spanish and Italian.
Dress to Impress
Guests often like to dress up to fit in with the theme and we positively encourage this to make the whole event seamless. If your guests are not the sort of people who have a stack of dressing up clothes in a chest in the attic then it may be sensible to select a contemporary theme or something that doesn't require elaborate costumes. Most people can lay their hands on a lounge suit or posh frock and it doesn't take too much effort to dress as a vicar, a hippy, a punk, a builder etc. Charity shops often do well when we're in town!
If you are hosting for the more theatrical set then the world is your lobster. Let your imagination run riot and raid the local costume shops and theatrical society store cupboards. We are always on hand to help you source appropriate costumes.
If you are still struggling for ideas then just look about you for books, films, TV programmes or plays that you have enjoyed. Whether or not they are murder mysteries, the themes can still be adapted for your own purposes. How do any of the following grab you as a starting point for your ideas? Harry Potter, The X-Factor, Fawlty Towers, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Big Brother, The Great Escape, Lord of the Rings...
If you are still struggling for ideas then either just let us do the leg work or look through our previous convictions to see if this gets your juices flowing.