A Production to Die For
A Review of Ametuer Dramatic's Murder Mystery Night
By Xandra Button and Jana Neimanns
At the end of September, we had the privilege of attending a Murder Mystery Night hosted at His Majesty’s Theatre.
Put on by The Amateur Dramatics Society in association with Right Here Productions, it was a wonderful night full of live music, a cabaret production, and (of course) murder.
The night started with a glass of prosecco that we drank leisurely at the HMT entrance before we were led upstairs, where we got to enjoy the view from The Terrace, HMT’s restaurant which opened in December of last year. With an entire wall being made of glass, The Terrace gave us a great view of the newly renovated Union Terrace Gardens, as well as the skyline surrounding Rosemount Viaduct. The inside of the restaurant was decorated nicely with fairy lights, giving it a modern feel, which is a rare find in Aberdeen.
We went into The Terrace completely unsure of what to expect and were surprised when the production began almost immediately. The actors didn’t introduce themselves before the show; instead, they opted for a sense of realism by introducing themselves as their characters, and they stayed in character the entire production.
We quickly learned that the premise of the evening was that we were there to witness a cabaret and pre-dinner musical numbers. However, before even getting to the appetisers, one of the actors ended up murdered, and it then became the audience’s job to help find the killer before the end of the show.
The over-the-top acting, combined with the amazing voices of the actors, gave the dinner a unique feel.
In between songs like ‘Almost There’ from Disney’s Princess and the Frog, ‘Don’t Rain On My Parade’ from Funny Girl, and ‘Somebody to Love’ by Queen, we would be invited to look over evidence.
This evidence ranged from text messages between the victim and the other actors, to voice recordings, to the actual murder scene itself. After looking over the evidence, we would be served one course of the meal, which gave audience members time to discuss their thoughts with their table members and deliberate.
Perhaps the best part of the evening was the cabaret performance. We were led to the dress circle at HMT, where we watched drama between the actors unfold on stage as they attempted to perform, despite the murder that occurred earlier in the evening. The actors did an amazing job at allowing us to discover the motivations, personalities, and secrets of the six suspected murderers, so much so that we audibly gasped as more was revealed after each course.
There were characters we truly ended up caring for and others who were (purposefully) insufferable. The connections we felt to the characters made it much more difficult to decide who the killer was.
The night concluded with each table writing down their guesses for who the murderer was. Actually doing the guesswork made us feel fully immersed in the investigation and performances.
Although we ended up guessing incorrectly, it was a fantastic, funny, and twist-filled evening, which is all we could have asked for.
Tickets were a bit pricey for a student budget at £60 a person, so the crowd was mostly made of middle-aged people with us being the youngest ones there. However, in our opinion, the price is worth it for what an enjoyable and unique experience it was. It would definitely be worthwhile to go with a group the next time The Amateur Dramatics Society performs. Or, if you can’t do that, just pay a visit to The Terrace next time you’re near Rosemount.