Where was Lord Redbury? Why was there a body in the cupboard? Why had Mabel, the caretaker, moved it? And who had a motive to murder? These were just some of the questions being asked as the audience attempted to unravel the mystery of the murder in Mid Somborne.
Organised by the School Association to raise money for Kings Somborne Primary School, the entertainment was superbly written and performed by the Somborne Players.
More than 63 people attended the "Mid Somborne Olympic bid meeting" held on 28th April to discuss the progress of the village's bid to host Olympic events, when the victim, Lord Richard Redbury, was discovered. As PC Blake played by Alan Glynne Jones and WPC Tessa Richards played by Catherine Cartwright, attempted to solve the crime, PC Blake ordered that no one must leave and interviews with the main suspects were held.
Did the architect, his wife and the entrepreneur, played by Andrew and Pam Flanagan and Chris Hall respectively, have something to gain? Why was the gamekeepers crossbow missing? What did Lord Redbury's sister Lady Ruth Redbury, played by Vanessa Sharpe, really feel about his illegitimate daughter? And how would her inheritance be affected? Did Dorothy the district nurse, played by Vicky Burden, have too much information on her patients? And how had Pamela the Postmistress and Harriet the Scoutmistress, played by Sue Spurling and Sue Jackson, helped each other? Was Jane, played by Melanie Haydon, the mother of Lord Redbury's child? Which of these colourful characters would stand to benefit the most from Lord Redburys's demise?
To ensure the attendees did not go hungry during the investigations delicious fish and chips were delivered and the licensed bar helped to oil the wheels. The main suspects circulated amongst the guests answering questions as the food was eaten. To aid deduction, guests were able to find out the background to proceedings on the Olympic bid in the Gimlet magazine, with pen portraits of the main Mid Somborne characters also provided.
After discussions with the guests throughout the room, the main suspects were called to the stage to face questions from the floor after which time guests were asked to make their accusations. There were a number of winners correctly deducing the murderer even though the exact circumstances proved elusive. One notable winner went by the name of a Mr Winning. Prizes also went to Clare Johnson and Caroline Andrews for their correct answer and Peter and Emily.
A huge thanks go to the Somborne Players for delivering what one guest said was "the best fundraising event ever" and to Catherine Cartwright and Lesley Houlton for organizing a most memorable evening. Thanks also to Petty, Wood for sponsoring the prizes for the murder mystery and to the King's Somborne Village Hall Committee for providing Moviola tickets for the raffle and to all those who helped to make the event such a success on the night, raising £680 for the school.