You probably thought from the title that this was going to be about Snoopy but it is not. I’ve always wanted to go to a Murder Mystery Theatre Dinner production and finally got to go to one last Friday night here in Ottawa at Britannia United Church. Conceived by Ottawa playwright Maggie Taylor, whose plays have been performed here before, the evening was a fundraiser and was well attended.
The production starred members of Britannia United including the pastor, Jim Baldwin, and the set was at a remote campsite where Director of Camping for Newbies Sara “Sunbeam” Sutton (played by Jess Carey) is trying to encourage the odd assortment of newbies to get along and have some camp spirit. It isn’t too long before the campers begin to worry that Jonesy, who had been coming up the rear, hadn’t made it to the campsite.
Clues about the characters were on the dinner tables along with a paper to take notes on as the audience had to submit their theories about who had strangled poor Jonesy in his hammock up in the tree before the final act. There were lots of great camp songs and some spooky stories, tension between several of the lady campers who couldn’t get along, and special muffins (not for the audience) were passed out to try to ease the increasing animosity and suspicion as the group tries to figure out who could have had a motive to off Jonesy.
We ate between acts and after dessert, our papers were collected and our solutions read out to the audience by the cast, who didn’t know themselves who had done it until they were handed the scripts for the final act and we all learned who in the audience had guessed correctly about the murder. Other players were Dori Jensen as know-it-all Mia Martel, Debbie Roi as the unpopular Carmen Cordova, Todd Mitchell as space cadet Travis Talbot, Chuck Trewartha as the quiet camper Hunter Hardaker, Jennifer Trewartha as perky Phoebe Parks, and Myles Frosst as social worker Frank Felton.
It was great fun and great food. The performance was repeated the following evening but if you haven’t seen it yet and would like to, you can catch it this coming Saturday, May 10th at St. Paul’s United Church in Carp, Ontario beginning at 6 p.m.