The pandemic robbed the Barrow community of many events taken for granted on the social calendar; 2020 was a rotten year. However, one outcome was a successful antidote: the annual murder mystery, transferred from stage to screen by Helen Sadler and her team, this year called ‘First Class Death’.
The cast members were the usual suspects, all of whom were under suspicion of murder on a virtual train journey. The story line followed the usual work by the audience sleuths to question the cast to find out “who dunnit?”
Some outrageous accents from the cast enabled the actors to embrace their roles and the result was an enjoyable couple of hours. Despite the limitations, the set up worked and the zoom event was watched and enjoyed by families clustered round their wireless laptops reminiscent of pretelevision days when we were united around our wireless radios. The event brought together families from Barrow to Brussels and beyond.
The final words belong to the writer and producer, Helen Sadler: “I was distraught after it became apparent that we couldn’t perform at HPS as normal. I approached the vicar to see if we could use the Church and we could have done it there, but the audience would have had to wear masks and I couldn’t see anyone being keen. I couldn’t think how to do one using Zoom and then - I heard Woodhouse Eaves had! Advice from them was that it would depend on the script which is when I thought of setting it on a train. One of the successes for me is the number of people from outside the UK we had on the call. We’re global! I don’t know what the future holds but I can see future Zoom events being a part of the plans.”
Special mention goes to Ron Laver for working tirelessly behind the scenes. Tickets for 73 devices were ‘sold’ and this amounted donations of just over £400. The Barrow Voice team is extremely grateful to Helen, her crew and cast for donating this money to Barrow Voice, your FREE community magazine, to help keep it afloat.
The Murder Mystery is available to all on the Barrow Village Website, but please consider making a donation to BUSCA.