Sutton & District Synagogue Yom Yerushalayim Murder Mystery aboard HMS Queen Vashti
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Thursday 25th May 2017

We have had many successful functions in the shul over the years - but none quite as hilarious as the Murder Mystery Cruise evening, held on Sunday 21st May 2017 put together by Chaverim.   The theme was a 1920’s cruise around the world, with a murder to be solved, and many of those present participated good-heartedly and with thought and effort to dress the part.

The hall was decorated like a ship decked with Israeli flags and the atmosphere was electric right from the start of the evening - tables bedecked with fresh flowers were groaning under a lavish assortment of cold foods, wine and drinks.

Our Synagogue Vice Chairman, Rica Infante welcomed the 82 passengers on board, reminding everyone about the essence of Yom Yerushalayim and asked all to join her in singing Hatikva and give a big welcome to the Blackwatch Company of actors who livened up the evening with a brilliant Murder Mystery act.

Laughter and excited chatter filled the hall right from the start - gaining momentum as the evening unfolded, led by Captain Bob Upendown (one of the four actors who ran the show) with an additional cast of ten actors drawn from passengers sitting at several tables, all suitably attired who threw  themselves into their characters with great panache and enthusiasm, keeping everyone else engaged and highly amused.

Each actor was called to give an account of what they were doing on the day of the murder and one plot revealed an even more amusing one.

The guests laughed and chatted their way into the night as they worked through the scenes of what could have been a smart West End theatre with top class actors!  

Many of the actors went to great lengths to memorise their lines and show off their great acting skills!

Synagogue Chairman, David Heller got into character as Dr Gutstein who is called to check on our Newsletter Editor,  Linda Smullen, alias Estelle Hertz who has been poisoned.

It was delightful seeing how the actors gave their all to their characters, even adding their own personal touch to make it look authentic and professional!

The Blackwatch Entertainers left clues on the Raffle table which in itself was heaving with lavish prizes generously donated by retailers and members of the community and which raised in excess of £300 for the synagogue.

Everyone came and left with a smile on their faces!  Happy Days!

The tables were then invited to work out who dunnit announcing their decisions with a suitable verse or song.  All  the presentations were  very amusing but only one table guessed correctly, as read out by Adrienne Fresko at her winning table.

Synagogue Chairman, David Heller thanked Rica Infante and the Chaverim Committee as well as Stephen Smullen who assisted with the organisation, Jonathan Symons, for his very generous sponsorship of the event in memory of his late parents, Cyril & Hazel Symons (z”l) as well as the United Synagogue Living & Learning Dept,  Blackwatch Entertainment, Francis Infante for bringing the food order from Golders Green on the Sunday morning, the team of ladies who helped prepare it, all the men who set up the cruise liner, all the people at the ticket desk and who sold raffle tickets and all those who donated gifts for the Raffle,  Marc Fresko for helping out with the stationery and last but by no means list, June & Graeme Lewis and Rica Infante for preparing this Report about the event.

Shco'ach to all!