An evening of mind-boggling, murder and mystery in an old London public house.
‘So the whole idea came from a dress I bought,’ Rosie Andrews, creator and owner of Teamfoolery, explains to me how she came up with their unique concept for group parties. “My partner remarked that it was like something from a murder mystery evening, so I arranged one, but with a twist.’ Rosie’s spin on the traditional role-playing detective evenings cunningly integrates another clue solving element, the escape room. Originally devised in Japan, escape rooms challenge teams to solve puzzles and unlock doors to freedom. They bring to life the video games of the same nature and are the new kids on the block when choosing something immersive for corporate events and birthday parties.
Rosie visited Budapest, the European home of the escape room, (known as ‘szabadulós játékok’ in Hungarian) where are now over 80 versions, to learn more about this phenomenon. It’s even become a competitive sport, with the first ever world championship event held earlier this year in Hungary’s capital city. Not surprisingly, it seems the love of gaming runs in Rosie’s family, with both her mum and grandmother being avid lovers of puzzle magazines. Rosie invited me to experience Teamfoolery’s brilliant mash-up of two of my favourite games nights, puzzles and a whodunnit.
I arrived at one of their regular venues, the Great Northern Railway Tavern in Hornsey and was greeted by one of the officials for the evening. It’s a fabulous spot, a Grade II listed building that is full of character and original features from its 1897 heritage that fit perfectly with the recent refurb. They now feature 24 original craft beers and a calendar full of events, including bar boot sales, old school hip hop DJ’s and Shakespeare in the Garden.
Upstairs, the function room of the GNRT was now the dining room of Cadogan Hall, where our murder mystery began. The players were split into two teams and a Teamfoolery representative starred as the investigating police officer. Each of us was given a Filofax of our character’s details, a run down of the rules and most importantly, what would win the game. After an initial cross-examination of the other suspects, my team and I were led to the puzzle area. We were given forty five minutes and a table full of items to crack open.
I can’t obviously give the game away, but I can reveal that by working our way through the puzzles, we were able to piece together various clues about the murderer. One of the detectives was on hand to help, but only if we got stuck. Secrets, lies and motives were unearthed, which we had to theorise about whilst we swapped with the other team and they faced the challenges of the room. Unfortunately, we were outsmarted and didn’t guess correctly, which was due to the suspect’s clever evasive skills under questioning. Like Abraham Lincoln said, “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”
Nevermind, I thoroughly enjoyed the inspired combination of a live action version of the popular board game Cluedo (sometimes known as Clue!) and the classic TV programme, The Crystal Maze. With the added bonus of fancy dress and playing a fictional character, it was definitely original and a heap of fun. The best part about the game is that it is accessible to adults of all skill levels, plus I could play it again tomorrow, and the murderer would be different. Excellent! It’s also got great commercial appeal; team building and hen parties will be lining up to collaborate and compete over these old school games.
There are three options available; the Gold and Silver packages include a three course meal, the evening’s entertainment and winner’s prizes. Bronze packages have all the same fun just without the food. All you need to bring is your costume.
So, if you are thinking of something unusual for that Christmas Party or maybe just a different Friday night, the evidence is clear. Drop Teamfoolery a tip-off and they will reward you with a killer evening of crime, investigation and conundrums.
See below for the details, including a discount code!
*I was not financially compensated for this post. Teamfoolery allowed me to participate in the event for free for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.*
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