Enigmatic Events presents Murder by Midnight. January 30-February 13, 2016. A review.

Enigmatic Events presents Murder by Midnight. January 30-February 13, 2016. A review.

Murder by Midnight, a live interactive murder mystery dinner theatre (at the Ambrosia Centre) hosted by Enigmatic Events (February 5/6 and 12/13, 2016) is part live game of Clue, part closed room dinner theatre mystery à la Agatha Christie and part puzzle enthusiasts meet-up, and the most fun I’ve had with a group of strangers in a long time. What an absolute blast!

Murder by Midnight logo
By heart a murder mystery aficionado and trivia enthusiast, I am less adept at puzzles and games. This worried me. Would I be up to the challenge of perusing clues and solving the mystery? Justine Thyme (Jennifer Smythe) was counting on me (and everyone else) to intervene before her mysterious killer succeeded in ending her life.

The spacious surroundings of the Ambrosia Centre are carefully laid out to welcome guests who are then assigned tables (none of the couples at my “Wrench” table knew one another) and directed to the dining room. Buffet food service and a bar are sectioned off from the main dinner theatre.

After introductions and a discussion about our various strengths (my group was incredibly focused) we nibbled on the salad course (served family style at the table), waiting to dive into the intriguing bag of goodies that would help us solve the mystery.

Justine introduced herself and then the suspects—well-known local actors and comedians Katia de Lancie (Sage Edeweiss), Justin Guthrie (Ross Murray) and Bill Nance (Pierce Lee) who revealed tidbits of what are extremely detailed back-stories. The bags flew open and someone took charge, immediately handing me a word search matrix. Guests need to solve at least four puzzles to obtain four passwords providing access to “secret” profiles on the main Murder by Midnight website.

TIP: Don’t forget your smartphone (internet access supplied).

The challenges were not evident and as several of our team members worked at solutions, the others decided to interview the suspects. The introverts listened intently and even spied on other teams’ questioning. The intensity of the proceedings led to some guests almost forgoing dinner—there were hurried self-injunctions to head to the buffet table.

With Gallic flare, Chef Guy Lemonnier has prepared a selection of family-style entrées and sides, including gluten-free and vegetarian options, and delicious desserts. The kitchen is also able to accommodate guests with specific dietary restrictions. (Please contact the venue beforehand).

An hour and a half flew by. Tips were accumulated and weighed in light of the copious evidence (realistic rap sheets, emails, hand-written notes, bank statements, election flyers and more). Soon, the assembly would need to decide. Should Justine live, or should we thwart her murder?

Creator and director Vanessa B Baylen (Death by Chocolate) and event producer Chris Rudram (Enigmatic Events), in their first collaboration, have spared no effort in designing an evening that will appeal to avid gamers and occasional puzzlers, introverts and extroverts, the driven and those who simply want to be entertained.

My interview with Vanessa Baylen:

Murder by Midnight, presented by Enigmatic Events
Created and directed by Vanessa B Baylen
Charity Preview on Jan 30 in aid of Victoria Cool Aid Society
Jan 30 – Feb 13, 2016 (Fridays & Saturdays), 6:30pm, at Ambrosia Event Centre: 638 Fisgard St
$68 ticket includes detective kit and 3-course dinner
More details available at www.MurderByMidnight.ca

Disclaimer:  I attended Murder by Midnight as a guest of Enigmatic Events


About @lacouvee

Community Builder. Catalyst. Speaker. Writer. Arts Advocate.

Passionate about bridging online and offline communities to effect positive change.

I truly believe that one person can make a difference and that we all have our own lives to live, creatively, while respecting the unique nature of others.


  1. […] and watching films to get a feel for the style we wanted. My experience watching the development of Murder By Midnight with Vanessa B Baylen also helped here, and she knows I took a lot from her […]

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