Murder, he cried! And so he did – Tony B laid out before us an elaborate scenario, casting himself in the role of Chief Inspector Maurice Joseph of the Serious Crimes Directorate from Scotland Yard. He then proceeded to use his deductive powers to try to solve the very bloody murder of Sir Basil Windermere, who had been discovered two hours earlier in the library with his head bashed in..
We were all given a short biography to work with, each of us with both motive and opportunity to commit the ghastly deed. Then we had just fifteen minutes to write, no, not an alibi, but a confession, and to state any possible mitigating circumstances. Sadly, I didn’t make a note of some of the more outlandish names of the characters we were given, but Dolores and Ptolemy were among the aristocrats and the lower ranks were given names that suited their rank, such as Mildred and Emily, this presumably to ensure that we all knew our places.
I had no suspicion we were such a ghoulish lot, but as confession after confession poured forth, our murderous ingenuity was alarming. Sir Basil was exposed as a serial sex offender (porn, rape – regrettably, nothing new under the sun), a cheat, an adulterer, a gambler, a horrific and bullying employer and a braggart. To say nothing of being a murderer himself, having killed off one brother while imprisoning another in an asylum. In fact, he appeared to have no virtues whatsoever.
So no-one much needed extenuating circumstances; the good old American ‘justifiable homicide’ seemed to fit most cases. But this is not to highlight the most entertaining facet of the evening – many of our villainous characters were required to be portrayed with an accent! It is always noticeable how many regional accents unintentionally tend towards the Welsh, but praise must go to the brave souls who tackled the American rise and fall, especially when we discovered the victim’s name was pronounced Bay-zil in some parts of the USA. And then there was a wonderful Bulgarian assassin in our midst!
But I can’t leave you without mentioning the weapons used, the inventiveness was breathtaking, if a bit scary. There was some preference for bronze or stone busts, being a familiar object in a library, so Churchill, Victoria and a couple of other heavyweights (excuse the pun) came in handy. But I must mention the table lamp, an ink well, a poker, a rolling pin, a horse shoe, a stuffed, wall hanging, bears’ head, guns various, and, the very best of all, a dumbbell!
Tony B, ex Scotland Yard in a previous life, aka Chief Inspector Joseph, declared us all guilty and arrested us all on the spot, a fitting end to another great evening. Thanks, Tony, we loved it!
Reading week next week, optional theme The Python’s Escaped! And the following week will be Kate’s workshop . And yes, both are at Tesco.
See you there. Sally