It’s the Summer of Love, July 1967, and London still swings like a pendulum do. In the
Ipsden Chelsea home of Char Stow Lord Michael Jagged, a select group of fashionable young things have spent the weekend drinking champagne and partying.
To celebrate her birthday, one of my good friends organised a Champagne Murder Mystery Party! Each of us received an invite by post inviting us to the event and revealing which character we would attend as. If you haven’t heard of a mystery dinner party before the best way to describe it is a “dinner theatre” in which the play is a murder mystery. Diners are invited to solve the mystery as they eat, watch and even take part in the play.
The birthday girl had chosen a Champagne Murder Mystery set in the 1960. Of the 10 invited each were expected to arrive as a convincing character – which, of course, involved fancy dress! Although half the characters were male and all the guests were female – we happily got into the swing of things, dressing up as sophisticated gentlemen.
From left to right:
- MARTIN X – A reclusive political rights campaigner from America, whose presence in England is not strictly legal.
- OLIVER STEED – Actor, raconteur and hell-raiser.
- ‘CHAMPAGNE’ CHARLIE BUNSON – A high-living entrepreneur whose connections with the London underworld have already attracted the attention of Scotland Yard.
- BRIAN SEWER – The brilliant wine critic of the Evening Times whose snobbery and arrogance have endeared him to nobody. Unfortunately, his arrogance is justified.
- TERENCE SHRIMP – An East End boy whose success as a photographer has taken him into the most fashionable social circles.
From left to right (top row, bottom photo):
- WIGGY – The most famous and glamorous model in the world, for this week at least.
- BABS CRAYFISH – The girlfriend of ‘Champagne’ Charlie and a former nightclub-hostess, she now claims to be a legitimate actress.
- THE BIRTHDAY GIRL – Our evenings host and ‘moderator’ of the game
- MARY-JANE FAITHLESS – Formerly the lover of Lord Jagged, now known as a pop star in her own right.
- KITTY KILLER – She looks like a sex starlet and claims to be a journalist, but everyone knows that really she’s a secret agent.
- TAMARA FARA-BUCKTOOTH – Famous for being famous, she is a regular fixture on the London social scene and is somehow related to Lord Jagged. Unfortunately she was late – so Tamara doesn’t feature in the photo above!
The evening kicked off with 60s esque cocktails served in colourful glasses decorated with a flamboyant umbrella. After all the guests had mingled and introduced which characters we were playing we were invited to take our seats and watch the intro to the game which was played via DVD on a small TV at the end of the room. A wacky Austin-Powers style character set the scene and ran through how to play the game.
Each dinner has a script in front of them which you follow throughout the evening, revealing secrets about your character and pros to read out loud in conjunction with the other characters. It’s great fun and no-one takes it too seriously! Whether you choose to put on a ridiculous accent, trip up on your words, mixs up stories about your characters past – who cares! A murder mystery party is an awesomely fun evening and I recommend it to all.