Murder Mystery In Great Yarmouth!

Another day and another trip to Great Yarmouth. I REALLY don’t like Yarko very much but it actually does look rather beautiful of a summer’s evening with all the twinkling lights and smiling tourists and we’d had such a good trip there the other day that this time I was actually looking forward to going back. While it was another trip to Great Yarmouth it was also another trip to Yesterday’s World you see, and we LOVED Yesterdays World.

We went, with the children,  to the ‘step back in time’ museum earlier in the week and had a fabulous time in the olde worlde streets and interactive exhibits before enjoying a cream tea in their Victorian tea rooms. While there we were told about the Murder Mystery nights that have been held every Wednesday and Saturday night this sumer and they invited to come back and see one in action. So, not having to be asked twice (I’ve always wanted to see a Murder Mystery night in action), off we went…

This has been a new venture for Yesterday’s World, who, judging by last night’s turn out, must have been congratulating themselves all summer on their show! Working with local theatre company, Strange Fascination (who are on Twitter @StrangeFas)  they have devised a route around the museum while telling a story for the audience of murder, intrigue and mystery. As an audience member you are invited to participate as little or as much as you like while finding clues to ‘pay’ the actors with for more information from them.

We probably weren’t very quick when it came to leaving our table after the delicious (and it REALLY was) buffet of sandwiches, cakes, sausage rolls and the like washed down with bottles of dandelion and burdock, elderflower and other juices while we read the story outline and character synopsis. There was no alcohol which I thought was a shame to begin with but later realised it wasn’t needed at all as you have no time to drink and be merry when trying to solve clues! When we got into the museum/theatre and the actors, who had previously been mingling amongst us, began their show, we were quite far back and although we could hear, we couldn’t really see the action. Last night was their busiest yet with 70 guests and I think perhaps for the space it might have been a little over stretched. We’re fighters however and we made sure we ‘got in there’ when we could.

The night then follows a series of, I would say, fairly improvised sections of the Victorian story with the actors milling about the crowd staying in character. I won’t say much about what actually happens as you can go and see for yourself but as a trained actress, this is just up my street and improv is my favourite acting style – it took all my might not to jump in and join them with a character of my own. I was most impressed with four of the five main characters and the two male actors were shockingly good as was the land lady. It makes me despair that there is so much talent and so little work while there is so LITTLE talent actually on television these days.

To get a job as an actor is one of the hardest things; to be on the stage in anything other than chorus (and for that you need to be exceptionally lucky as well as good) you need to be a ‘name’ yet to be a ‘name’ you have to be on TV first… Everything is catch 22 with acting including even just down to being considered for professional roles in the first place. You have to be an equity member to be in employment but in order to get equity status you have to have been employed for a certain amount of hours! How ridiculous is that?! I’m impressed with Strange Fascination for lots of things including their talent but also because they have created work where there isn’t any… Good for them and if I was back in Norfolk instead of London I’d be tapping them up for work!

We had a brilliant evening with lots of laughs and when things went wrong, a woman fell and hurt her leg badly enough for an ambulance to be called and give her morphine and gas and air, the team at Yesterday’s World made everything as comfortable as possible for her while not disrupting the evening and then offered free tickets to all groups for another occasion as apology for the disruption. Personally I didn’t even notice that she’d hurt her leg or the paramedic until he must have been there some time so it all went over my head!

The immersive theatrical experience at Yesterday’s World with Strange Fascination is a must see and do for groups of friends and anyone over the age of 12. It includes the buffet and a soft drink and at the current price of £12 per person when in a group of four or more it couldn’t be better value! Definitely get a group of friends together as otherwise the price is £29.99 (which I still think is reasonable) so considerably more and with pals the experience is more fun anyway! We in our group missed clues and couldn’t see at times but still it was fabulous enough so that when it’s back in October, we WANT to go!

Take a look at how much fun we had!

They do have most things right but as with anything there are a few bits I would change.

  • I think a few more clues might be helpful. It was hard to find them with so many people and we presumed wrong in thinking the ones which WERE there would be re distributed and spent a long time following the actors hoping to see where they put them.
  • I would say 70 guests might have been a stretch too far. It was often hard to see the action and my friend and I missed a big fight scene which, according to our husbands who were at the front, was the best scene of the night. We were at the back and couldn’t see a thing.
  • A little more ‘problem solving’ and more of an element of sleuth work for the audience might be slightly more fun.
  • Perhaps a beer at the beginning would be attractive to some?

And we ourselves got some things wrong. If I go again I will:

  • Not follow the actors looking for clues being put down when we can’t find any.
  • Ask more questions when we do have something to take to an actor for answers.
  • Interact with the actors more, they are mingling and other people did this gaining more of an insight.
  • Listen in on other people’s conversations!

Despite all my bullet points of change for both them and us, it is a great night out as it is. The ‘show’ is back in October for a darker and more haunting experience to match Halloween and I think it will really excel itself with a spooky vibe – we all said we’d love to go back! It will be on in half term week only on 25th, 29th and 31st of October and 2nd November.

Before I sign off I must just give a little nod to the performance of the ‘idiot’ who was very good indeed herding the audience to where we should be. He’s not with the theatre company but is a Yesterday’s World member and in fact waited on us with our cream tea the other day – he was very good and has perhaps found a new niche?

We were invited to Yesterday’s World for their #TwoHearts Murder Mystery night as guests in return for an honest review.