Category Archives: MTT Plays

5 ways Murdering The Text can alter a script to suit your production

14th April 2018

At Murdering The Text, we aim to do all we can to help you with your murder mystery fundraisers so over the years, we’ve made customer-requested alterations to many of our scripts.

If you want to buy one of our murder mystery scripts but they’re not quite the right fit for your cast or event, here are just five of the ways we can alter them to suit:

1. Cut down the number of characters

When we originally wrote The Blunt End for a high school in the south of England, they asked us to write for a much larger cast than usual so that all of their interested pupils could take part. The resulting cast added up to 15 named characters and additional performers too.

A couple of years later we were approached by a group who loved the idea of the play but had a more modest cast. We took a fresh look at the script and reduced the cast down to a suitable 8 characters. We now offer this reduced cast version of The Blunt End in our catalogue of plays.

2. Change the gender of characters

The Waxworks of Horror was originally written with a cast of 2 female and 3 male actors (with an additional screaming individual sprinting across the stage). When a long time customer came to us with the problem of no available male actors, we altered the play to have an all-female cast. This version is now available for purchase on request.

3. Fit your stage

Having problems fitting one of our plays to your stage? Perhaps you have limited stage space or entrances. Forward us your stage layout with possible exits and access points, and we’ll alter the script to suit your venue. It might even be that you can’t fit or transport certain furniture items onto your stage. We’ll think up a new list of furniture to suit.

4. Alter the dialogue

Whether you feel a piece of dialogue is too naughty or otherwise unsuitable for your audience, or you want to add in a couple of your own jokes or a local mention, we’re happy to help. Perhaps one of your actors wants a smaller part, or you’d like to add in a new character. Whatever the reason, we’ll readily rewrite sections of our play to suit your cast and production.

5. Scripted reveal

We like to think that the ad-libbed quality of the question time, when the audience interrogates the suspects, adds an excellent opportunity for your cast to show their knowledge of their character and make the production unique to your group but if you’d prefer to have a scripted reveal, perhaps delivered by a detective-type figure, then we’re happy to supply this as part of your event pack.

Get in touch

If you want to make alterations to any of our scripts, then please feel free to drop us an email. Any alteration is free of charge and made in discussion with you.

Turning the spotlight on 2017

18th December 2017

The end of 2017 is almost upon us and what a year it’s been, with our twenty year anniversary and our newly penned play, A Brush, with Death, written to celebrate.

Amidst a whole host of changes to our website, we re-introduced Murdering The Text with We Must Be Doing Something Right, followed by 7 ways that Murdering The Text can help your amateur dramatics group.

We launched our new monthly am dram advice articles with 7 ways that amateur dramatics groups can keep their members (happy).

We told you about our custom written murder mystery play service in No murder mystery play to suit? No problem. We’ll write one for you, and later that month posted 10 ways to raise funds for your amateur dramatics group.

We explained our services in How does it work? Using a murder mystery play as a fundraiser and We act for money (or how to hire out your amateur dramatics group for murder mystery evenings).

Later that month, we posted another of our am dram advice articles, 7 ways to attract new members to your amateur dramatics group.

In October, we announced our special offer for new subscribers to our mailing list, and told you about our FAQs (frequently asked questions) page.

We finished the month off with How to dress your cast cheaply for a production set in the past.

November was a busy month as Murdering The Text moved house, we welcomed a new member to our Amateur Dramatics Groups For Hire family, and in Spreading the Magic we explained how to extend your productions beyond the edge of the stage.

December posts included Testimonials – hear what our customers have to say and Setting the scene for half the cost (or less).

We’ve one more post for you before we sign off for Christmas. In the meantime, I think we’ve earned a mince pie, or two.

How does it work? Using a murder mystery play as a fundraiser

21st August 2017

It’s been twenty years since we wrote and performed our first murder mystery to raise funds for the amateur dramatics group we were part of back then, and I’ve seen the use of whodunnit events grow in popularity ever since.

I’d love to say we started a trend but the murder mystery fundraiser phenomenon was already a thing, albeit much less popular and polished than today.

Having customers throughout the UK, in Canada and the USA, and seeing as we’re just one of a community of worldwide murder mystery script providers and performers, I’d assumed that everyone understood what a murder mystery fundraiser event was.

A recent comment proved me wrong though, when one lady was puzzled by our website because she didn’t know that a murder mystery play could be used as a fundraiser. She assumed that any theatrical production would be too expensive to be used in this way.

This got me thinking. Am I presuming too much of visitors to our website, amateur dramatics groups and fundraisers that they would already know of the existence and effectiveness of murder mystery events?

Perhaps an explanation is needed.

What is a murder mystery fundraising event?

There are generally two ways in which a murder mystery can be used as a fundraising event:

  1. The audience watch a murder mystery play. With the assistance of the compere, the audience questions the suspects and then deduces the identity of the guilty party.
  2. The actors (in character) mingle with the ‘audience’ at an event such as a party or dinner. A murder is staged and the audience carry out their own investigation to find the murderer.

Our kind of murder mystery falls into the former of these two. We sell murder mystery play scripts, with accompanying information such as character histories, clue material and murderer sheets.

The customer (amateur dramatics groups, PTA organisations, small charities) purchases our murder mystery pack and uses it to hold a murder mystery event to raise money for their group or cause.

How can you make money from a Murdering The Text murder mystery event?

Our murder mystery scripts are written to be low cost productions.

Black curtains can be used as a backdrop rather than the normal scenery. Costumes can be drawn from your cast’s personal wardrobes or, in the case of an amateur dramatics group, created from your existing stock. Even the furniture and props are items that can be easily sourced at little or no expense.

For information on how to source costumes for period productions, read our post Dressing It Up.

Most of your income will be earned from ticket sales (the price will reflect whether the ticket covers the performance only or includes a buffet, bar or three course dinner) but you can also run a bar and hold a raffle for extra income.

Prizes for your raffle and aspects of your production such as publicity, bar license or printing, could be gained through sponsorship by local businesses.

For more information read our page, Ten reasons to hold a murder mystery event.