Murder at the Museum was great fun, a real ‘whodunnit’ led by Tall Tale Mysteries based in the Great North Museum (Hancock) followed by a scrummy afternoon tea. It was a perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon. This is a spoiler free review so it’s safe to read on, but there are a few twists and turns on the day to keep you guessing right till the end.
The event was held in the Clore Suite at the Hancock, which had around 8 tables waiting for their guests with a game pack per family/group and individual Detective badges per setting. I love a good badge don’t you? Each table had roughly 10 guests and it was full to capacity. The event was a sell-out.
Each detective pack contains an outline for the afternoon’s event, lots of background information on each of the actors and who they are, and several clues that you are instructed to open at specific times during the afternoon. There seems a lot to take in at first, but by the time each actor has visited your table once or twice you really start to understand who’s who and get a few clues from them – even though you don’t realise at first they are clues.
During the first 30 minutes, the actors from Tall Tale Mysteries move amongst the guests, setting the scene around the ‘Koor Blimy Diamond’ found by Digger Jones during an expedition to South America. It’s about to go on display at the Museum for the first time ever. During this time, you have a chance to ask each actor questions and find out a bit more about them and their relationship to each other. There are rumours the diamond is cursed and when a body is found in the museum, it would seem the curse has come to fruition!
When it all kicks off with the murder, the fun really starts and the actors depart to their respective areas in the Museum where they will stage short performances with a further opportunity for questioning by you, the budding Detective. During the day, you will meet publisher Arty Fact, museum curator Professor Alex Ibitt, and antiquities expert Miss Inga Stone, among others.
Once all the performances have played out, the Detectives return to the Clore Suite where you get to open your final clue and can once again question the actors as they make their way around the tables. There is much fun and merriment as the acting continues, with more shocks and delights as eventually you get your chance to make your accusation! There are prizes for best team name, right answer and hilariously, the answer that is the furthest away from the truth!
Once the murderer and motive has been revealed, the afternoon tea is served. The sandwiches, scones and cakes included in the tea are some of the best I have tasted. Service was quick and courteous, and there were refills of tea and coffee halfway through. Not quite enough jam to go around everyone, only one small pot between 4 scones. Is it just me or should there be equal jam to equal cream when consuming a scone? Interesting to note how many people eat their scones the Devon way as opposed to the Cornish way. Traditionally it has been that people in Devon spread clotted cream on the scone, then finish with a dollop of jam, while the Cornish tradition does the reverse, with jam going first and clotted cream on top. But hey, no judgement here!
This fun murder mystery with delicious afternoon tea was £32.95 per person and suitable for ages 13 and up, so perfect it you’re looking for something a bit different with a group of friends, or like us, a family with teenagers. The fact the event played out within the Hancock museum made it even more authentic and now my daughter is 14 years old, it was a good excuse to stop by the T-Rex and Planetarium before we left, as it’s not somewhere older teenagers are in the habit of visiting once they get to a ‘certain age’.