Audience gets to play detective in Murder at the Banquet

The International Association of Mystery Solvers is holding its first hall of fame induction banquet, and members' skills will be...

Murder at the Banquet characters detective Jack Diamond (Brad Tones) and Wanda Winters (Laura Burke).

Murder at the Banquet characters detective Jack Diamond (Brad Tones) and Wanda Winters (Laura Burke).

The International Association of Mystery Solvers is holding its first hall of fame induction banquet, and members’ skills will be put to the test in Murder at the Banquet.

The Emerald Pig Theatrical Society’s new product sees audience members at the dinner theatre walking right into the action.

“When they walk in the door, they’re part of the show,” said co-producer Kathleen Hatley.

“We include the audience – when they arrive they are all members of the International Association of Mystery Solvers,” explained director Sharon Malone. “There’s a level of participation, but it’s not like improv, where they’re shouting things.

“The tables will totally get into it. I think they’ll have a ball,” added Hatley.

She calls Robert W. LaVohn’s work “a perfect play for dinner theatre.”

There are eight actors in the play, and audience members will fill out a clue card with their theory on who did the vile deed.

The cast of characters includes Jenny Watson (Brooke Knudson), the great grand niece of Dr. Watson, and Foster Holmes (Derek Boe), the great grand nephew of Sherlock, and their rivalry is intense.

Jack Diamond (Brad Tones) is a hardboiled detective well past his best-before date, but that doesn’t deter the smouldering Wanda Winters (Laura Burke), a secretary with a lot more going for her than looks.

There’s also French detective Claudette Pindu (Susan Hawley), 98-year old British sleuth Agatha Preakness (Joyce Gillespie), Hillbilly sheriff Chief Harley Stanton (Henry Bartak) and awards night emcee Nathan Wimberly (Aaron Davis).

Malone has 30 years of theatre experience from producing to set building, and is enjoying this new project, which she likens to the popular “Tony and Tina’s Wedding.”

“It’s a lot of fun – very tongue-in-cheek, very cliched and very funny.”

Murder at the Banquet dinner theatre performances

• Oct. 22-25 at The Open Door Theatre in Hammond.

• Oct. 30 at the Wesbrooke in Pitt Meadows.

• Nov. 5-7 and 12-14 at the North Fraser Event Centre in Whonnock.

Tickets for dinner theatre are $35, available at the Open Door, the Wesbrooke and on Eventbrite.

Dinner menu will vary by location.

• For more information see www.emeraldpig.ca or call 604-785-1405.