As one of their first big events of the term, the Fine Food and Dining society of St Andrews hosted a dinner party at the beautiful Hotel Du Vin. Throughout the ambitious event held over a period of three days, actors would improvise around a core story each night and act out a murder mystery.
The premise of the night was that it was a wedding rehearsal dinner paid for by the bride’s family, and then after the groom died at the initial wedding reception guests decided to continue their festivities. I’m not quite sure that’s what would actually happen in the case of an actual murder but it gave us the excuse of finishing our three courses and to get to the bottom of the murder.
I have to say I was more than a little disappointed by the food. After all it was Fine Food and Dining society, so one would expect the food to be amazing. But while the cod croquettes were amazing as a starter, the Coq au Vin was dry and overcooked. Dessert was also more than a bit underwhelming but maybe I simply chose wrong. One great advantage was that they had multiple choices, including several vegetarian options, so at least there was variety at the table.
Another problem they faced (but admittedly rectified by the end of the night) was the lack of drinks. There was water and bread on the table but this quickly ran out and took ages to be refilled, and the drinks waiter who was meant to arrive during our first course didn’t appear until dessert. Thankfully though, the head of the party sorted this out with the bar, as I don’t think just one glass of prosecco would’ve been enough!
The acting was certainly interesting on the night, if a little muddled. Maybe my view is obscured by the fact I went to the first night of the show but there were a few kinks in the acting that needed to be worked out. People rushing through or forgetting their lines was the norm and it meant things felt very stilted and rushed when they actually explained the story. Ironically enough, the best actor of the lot ended up being Nicholas, the groom and the man who died at the end of the prosecco reception. Nobody was necessarily a bad actor, but there were certainly a few hiccups.
So to conclude, I’m not sure I would go to another murder mystery dinner hosted by this society, as although the atmosphere and setting were amazing the actual dinner and entertainment failed to live up to expectations. I did find that the entire society had worked really hard and should be commended but at £25 for a dinner and prosecco ticket, it was a little pricey. If I do go again I’m determined to figure out who did it before they announce it though!