Backstage Production Arts students from Stratford-upon-Avon College recently came together to create a gruesome Murder Mystery as they used the seven deadly sins to inspire a Cluedo style installation for their Final Major Project.
Students in their first year of the course created the installation by using the full range of skills learnt on the course so far. This included lighting and sound design, set design, stage management, prop building and more. The audience experienced the live installation as detectives for the murder case.
The show starts as soon as you enter the room, with a body on the floor. As the murder victim rises to his feet (played excellently by student Joe Paget), you learn you will be taken round the suspects by the victim himself and it is up to the audience to find out who has done it.
Each suspect is inspired by one of the seven deadly sins, the only stimulus the students originally had to work with. This affected the lighting states and design of each area. We met ex fiancés, gluttonous Chefs, proud Colonels and lazy Doctors, all distinct and all with their own motives.
The students created everything in the installation and operated the whole show
The students found this project incredibly interesting to create. Charlotte Manly was one of the writers of the project, alongside Joe Paget, and she has learnt a lot from her input on the piece: “I have never been a writer before and it was incredibly daunting to begin with. Now I love it! It was great to see how we could interpret each of the sins so differently.”
Evie Bryon took the lead when it came to set design and stage management: “This project has allowed me to try out new areas and now I know I want to focus more of my time on Management for both stage and design.”
Louise Millward, Backstage Production Arts lecturer, is incredibly proud of the fantastic work by the students: “It has allowed them to showcase the amazing amount of skills they have learnt this year and put it all into practise. And because everyone has collaborated, it allows the students to keep an open mind on a whole host of roles, which makes them more employable, as they can develop a wider range of skills overall.”
The students created a haunting experience. But did we find out who dunnit? Well, that would be telling!