A retirement party for James Bond goes horrifically wrong when a retirement gift backfires and kills him. But who’s dastardly machinations got rid of one of this country’s best known secret agents? Could it be the political animal at the head of MI6, Titan Belt, or his long-time friend Phillip Screwdriver? Does Bond’s Russian wife Ivana Yurmuni-Bond look shifty, or could it even be ditzy secretary Amber Seal? Time for YOU to play detective!
To Die For Entertainment has been making waves for itself with its mix of comedy, good food, well-chosen venues and devious murder mysteries. I jumped at the chance to review their latest offering – Goldzimmer – as I’ve always wanted to be part of a murder mystery event, and this certainly did not disappoint.
Set in the Grosvenor Casino in Bolton, you are parachuted into the world of MI6, being met by the characters and guided by them through the event. The casino setting only adds to the evening, being a terrific setting for the ‘retirement’ party.
Naturally, nothing is as it really seems, and through the evening, you are given ‘evidence’ to sway your opinion and change your mind. The characters mingle with you, allowing you the chance to question them one-on-one.
This is where the actors really shine as they are forced to think on the spot. On my crib sheet, I have all sorts of pointers– “cold”, “ditzy”, “slimy”, “they simply must have done it!” – which is testament to how convincing the actors are. Peter Gibson’s Titan Belt, wonderfully modelled on Cameron is a slippery eel, whilst Jane Leadbetter’s Amber Seal is adorably ditzy. David Garrett is suspiciously kindly as gadget man Phillip Screwdriver whilst Simone Pickup is just too cool as Ivana. Rob Ireland, To Die For’s Director pulls double time as Insp. Bacon, and holds everything together.
The night culminates in your accusation and method as to whodunit. The murderer is then unmasked in a dramatic showdown. Tongue-in-cheek, yes, but very witty and amusing along the journey. Being Bond themed, there are more puns on Bond movies than you could shake a Martini at which only adds to the fun. There also gasps and shocks from the audience as devious double-crossing comes to light. All of this whilst a three course meal is being served to you!
And you know what? I had really good fun, one of the best nights out I’ve had in a while. Food was delicious, most of the crowd was up for the murder mystery, the surroundings were enjoyable. I had great fun desperately trying to trip over the actors into a confession (wasn’t going to happen) before deducing the murderer for myself (no, that didn’t happen either!). The actors and actresses involved have my admiration as they play out sustained improvisation over the evening.
It’s a different kind of theatre; think of it more as an interactive piece that you can take part in. It’s also refreshing to be in the thick of it as the action unfolds around you. Get involved, and you’ll have a fantastic time. Slick, entertaining, spontaneous and a damn good night out, the world is not enough for To Die For Entertainment. In fact, I can’t wait to see what they’ve got in store for Halloween and Christmas..
To Die For Entertainment can next be caught on Saturday 13 July at the Fox and Hounds in Flixton with “Blood on the Boards: Murder at the Theatre” and “Squaring the Circle” on 9 and 14 July at the Black Lion in Salford. More information, as always, over on their website.