IT WAS murder most foul at the ancient moated manor of Baddesley Clinton as it hosted its first murder mystery event.
The year was 1883, exactly 400 years since Nicholas Brome, then master of the house, killed a priest in his library.
Creepy spiritualist Arthur Beeton had invited the cream of society to join him for a dinner to mark the anniversary of this grisly murder.
But when unpopular MP Lord Gallstone is found floating in the moat, there can only be five suspects; mad inventor Alexander Toll-Booth, beautiful Isabella Bell, arrogant adventurer Captain Carrol, the mysterious doctor Esther Doyle and of course, Beeton himself.
The audience are thrown into the middle of the action as they turn Victorian sleuthers to try and solve the murder mystery that unfolds around them.
Accusations are flung as the characters maraud around the house and as their deepest darkest secrets are unveiled, it’s clear everyone had a motive to brutally murder Lord Gallstone.
Alongside the theatrics, the night also gave guests a fantastic opportunity to discover Baddesley Clinton in a whole new light as visitors followed suspects into each room to eavesdrop on conversations, unearth the next clue or even directly question a character.
Presented by the Pantaloons Theatre Company, although a solution to the murder mystery was set in stone, all the drama of the evening was fully improvised which gave a great sense of spontaneity and fun to proceedings.
The sensational cast each gave a thoroughly enjoyable performance but producer Mark Hayward’s eccentric Toll-Booth stole the show.
Despite us failing to correctly guess ‘whodunnit?’, the spooky evening, which included a delicious three course meal, was fantastic fun.
Following on from its success, Baddesley Clinton are now planning to host more murder mysteries in the future.
For more information about events visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/baddesleyclinton.