Well, he was certainly ‘arrested and charged’ by the – oddly, American accented – Detective Inspector in charge of the case; in the superb Murder Mystery Show I recently had the pleasure to experience first-hand at Wallaceville House.
With hindsight we should have spotted him sooner but – in our defense – he was SO loud and obvious he was almost ‘hidden in plain sight’.
‘Flaco’ the irresistible and sexually charged ( at least in his own mind ) forward of the Santa Bernadino Football team – with an ego the size of a football stadium. ‘Flaco’, the man who wouldn’t let anyone get in his way ‘on’ the field – turned out to have the same feelings ‘off’ the field as well.
His obvious disdain of anyone who didn’t worship at his boots made him seem, well, comical. Everyone in the audience laughed and laughed at his arrogant innuendos and ruthless put-downs of ‘unwise hecklers’ in the audience. ( I say ‘unwise’ but the show would have been the poorer without these audience participations because they prompted some ‘inspired responses’ from the actors. )
While we howled at ‘Flaco’s’ hilarious ‘jibes’ at his ‘incompetent’ teammates and haughty coach; while we laughed at his witty insults to the team staff and anyone foolish enough to try to match wits with him from the audience; he just seemed ‘too obvious’ to be the ‘explosive’ murderer of the much disliked Santa Bernadino team coach. While the nasty English team doctor, the bitter team baggage handler ( an ex-player ) and several other jealous players also had enough motive to be deemed ‘prime suspects’. My pick was the ‘baggage handler’ because his bitterness came across when he chatted to the people at our table – as the actors often did during the evening.
Fortunately, the American ‘Inspector’ wasn’t fooled by Flaco’s ‘braggadocio’( that means his ‘swaggering, cocky manner’ ). One lucky table of punters from the audience also saw through ‘Flaco’s’ smokescreen of ‘uber personality’ (that means ‘acting like Superman’ ) and WON a ‘quality bottle of something alcoholic’ for their successful sleuthing ( that means ‘detective work’ ).
Before the show we guests/audience members all gathered for pre-dinner drinks in the downstairs bar of the suitably stylish Victorian mansion that is Wallaceville House. I have to say, that Wallaceville House – with its ‘old world charm and being surrounded by native bush – was the perfect setting for a Murder Mystery. You would never know you were so close to the the heart of Wellington.
We were all buzzing with anticipation for this show. Many guests had joined in the ‘spirit of the occasion’ by dressing up in their favourite World Cup team colours and outfits. These people were obviously there for a ‘good time’ and it wasn’t long in coming.
After a while, the actors ( Greg Ellis and his Improvisers Team ) began mingling with the crowd; warming us up for the antics to come by introducing themselves ‘in character’ as the coach and key players in Santa Bernadino Football team. They began to sow seeds of suspicion and drop hints and clues as they interacted with the guests. Before we all went upstairs to Dinner, the Santa Bernadinian Football Team sang a very funny version of their ‘supposed’ National Song, with some improvised bits culled from audience members; such as, the proudest national characteristic, ‘cowardice’, or the best known export, ‘cocaine’, and the largest river, ‘the Nile’!
Then it was upstairs to our individually seated tables and the ‘lovely first course’ of our delicious meal – served buffet style – with loads of choice ( I particularly enjoyed some lovely baked fish with lemon pepper & Parmesan and some excellent roasted sirloin of beef with béarnaise sauce ) – and then on with the rest of the Murder Mystery Show.
Over the course of the evening, much hilarity ensued.
If you are NOT the kind of person who likes to push your ‘little grey cells’ too hard while out having fun: then don’t worry – this show is for you. It is more about the laughs, eccentric accents, odd-ball characters and the fun! The ‘mystery’ part of the show does not place high demands on you to solve clues or figure things out. I am sure that these guys change the ‘murderer’ at every show because – after all – they are called ‘The Improvisers’ and much of the show seems spontaneous and tailored to the mood and interaction of the audience.
Close to our tables was an excellent bar fully stocked with wine, beer or whatever you wanted to drink combined with some great food ( did I mention the ‘magic’ chocolate pudding? ) to make the ‘dinner’ part of the show a real success in my book. I thoroughly enjoyed my choices from the menu and wished I had a bit more room to try a few other choices. See the full menu and wine list here.
As for the ‘show’ part of the show: Greg Ellis and the ‘Improvisers’ are a very accomplished group of actors who gave us a fantastic evening of ‘live entertainment’; they made one woman at the table next to ours laugh so hard I thought she might wet herself. In short, this Murder Mystery show at Wallaceville House was a great big ‘rollicking’ good night out; best shared with a bunch of friends or work-mates.
Sadly, I have been informed – now that the FIFA Football World Cup is a pleasantly fading memory – Wallaceville House and ‘the Improvisers’ have decided to bring down the curtain on this year’s successful Winter Murder Mystery Season.
BUT – don’t be disappointed, because … they tell me that they are already developing their NEXT Murder Mystery show.
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