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Making a murder 

Jaffrey-Rindge Lions ready for annual murder mystery dinner

  • Jaffrey-Rindge Centennial Lions Club member Jeannie Hopkins paints set pieces that will be used in the upcoming Comedy Murder Mystery Dinner on Oct. 27 at the Shattuck Golf Course in Jaffrey.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • Members of the Jaffrey-Rindge Centennial Lions Club have been creating decorations and set pieces for their upcoming Comedy Murder Mystery Dinner, which takes place on Oct. 27 in Jaffrey. The additional work will help to create a more immersive experience for the "Till Death Do We Part-y" Halloween theme. Staff photo by Nicholas Handy—

  • Members of the Jaffrey-Rindge Centennial Lions Club have been creating decorations and set pieces for their upcoming Comedy Murder Mystery Dinner, which takes place on Oct. 27 in Jaffrey. The additional work will help to create a more immersive experience for the “Till Death Do We Part-y” Halloween theme. Staff photo by Nicholas Handy—

  • Members of the Jaffrey-Rindge Centennial Lions Club have been creating decorations and set pieces for their upcoming Comedy Murder Mystery Dinner, which takes place on Oct. 27 in Jaffrey. The additional work will help to create a more immersive experience for the “Till Death Do We Part-y” Halloween theme. Staff photo by Nicholas Handy—

  • Members of the Jaffrey-Rindge Centennial Lions Club have been creating decorations and set pieces for their upcoming Comedy Murder Mystery Dinner, which takes place on Oct. 27 in Jaffrey. The additional work will help to create a more immersive experience for the “Till Death Do We Part-y” Halloween theme. Staff photo by Nicholas Handy—

  • Members of the Jaffrey-Rindge Centennial Lions Club have been creating decorations and set pieces for their upcoming Comedy Murder Mystery Dinner, which takes place on Oct. 27 in Jaffrey. The additional work will help to create a more immersive experience for the “Till Death Do We Part-y” Halloween theme. Staff photo by Nicholas Handy—



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Monday, October 01, 2018 5:21PM

For the Jaffrey-Rindge Centennial Lions Club’s upcoming third annual Comedy Murder Mystery Dinner, the devil is in the details – almost literally.

Various Lions Club members – led by Richard Comeau, Laura Gifford, and Jeannie Hopkins – have been meeting in a workshop on Main Street in Jaffrey for more than a month preparing props and set pieces for their upcoming Halloween-themed dinner and murder mystery performance by Branch River Theatre actors.

“We want to be different. When you go to a murder mystery dinner you usually just get the acting troupe – we want to throw in all the extras,” Comeau said. “It’s a lot of work for looks, but the people really like it. I think it’s what brings them back every year; everyone always wants to know how we are going to top last year.”

The dinner, titled “Till Death Do We Part-y,” takes place on Oct. 27 at the Shattuck Golf Club on Dublin Road in Jaffrey. The three-course dinner – with an entree of pot roast or pasta primavera – begins at 6:30 p.m., with cocktails served thirty minutes prior. Attendees are encouraged to dress up in their best Halloween attire.

In addition to the dinner and the theater performance from the Branch River Theatre, there will also be a raffle and photo booth.

The Halloween theme came easy this year, as the event is close to the holiday, one that many people already dress up for.

“We always try to get as many people to dress up as possible,” Comeau said.

The theme comes and volunteers start to work on building the props and sets. A number of which are are now taking shape, including a wooden building modeled after the Addams Family’s house, a graveyard, a coffin to place hors d’oeuvres in, and a gate-style entry door.

The house, dubbed the “Von Addams” house, is a 16-foot tall structure, with a first floor that is almost to scale to allow for photo opportunities.

“It’s hard to make a five-story structure that will fit inside,” Comeau said.

While Comeau handles much of the construction projects – he installs flooring as his day job – Hopkins has handled much of the painting.

“Jeannie knows how to make everything look antique,” Comeau said.

As much as 90 percent of the props and set pieces this year are upcycled materials, Comeau and Hopkins said.

“We try to upcycle as much as we can so we can be environmentally friendly,” Hopkins said. “It’s nice to be able to repurpose things.”

The Lions Club’s version of the annual murder mystery dinner is the brainchild of Gifford, who brought up the idea a few years ago during a meeting with Will Phillips – a member of the Souhegan Lions Club who helped the Jaffrey-Rindge club in their transition to a full-fledged charter club.

“He said that since we were a new club, we needed to create an event that we could do every year as a fundraiser,” Gifford said. “I thought an interactive dinner would be fun to do.”

Gifford said the extra props and attention to detail have been a major selling point to people and has led to a much more interactive experience.

“We really wanted to pull together more props to make the experience more real and interactive,” Gifford said. “It’s been a fun way to get people engaged.”

Tickets are currently on sale at the Jaffrey Chamber of Commerce, Toadstool Bookshop in Peterborough, or online at ticketelf.com/events/murder-mystery-dinner-theater-lions-club. Tickets are $50 person and must be purcha se by Oct. 20. Proceeds go to benefit local sight, hearing, and other service activities.

Nicholas Handy can be reached at 92 4-7172 ext. 235 or nhandy@ledgertranscript.com. He is also on Twitter @nhandyMLT.