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Haigh Hall's Whodunit - Wigan Gets a Taste of Murder Mystery
Friday 15th September, 2006

Haigh Hall's Whodunit - Wigan Gets a Taste of Murder Mystery
'Behind You!' Wigan Pier Theatre Company Artistic Director Stewart Aitken and Haigh Hall Sales and Events Officer Jill Smith get ready for Murder at Haigh Hall.

Picture the scene! It's a balmy June evening at Haigh Hall in 1873. It's also one of the most special days in the magnificent hall's history.

Upstairs the master of the house Lord Crawford, Alexander Lindsay, 8th Earl of Balcarres and his wife Lady Margaret are making their final preparations to receive the most prestigious of guests, the Prince and Princess of Wales Albert Edward and Alexandra.

The occasion - the opening of Wigan's new infirmary named in honour of the prince. The celebration - a sumptuous gala dinner in the heart of Haigh Hall attended by the great and good of the borough.

As the guests settle and the room comes to a whispered hush in readiness for their royal highnesses, the subdued silence is suddenly shattered by the most blood curdling of screams. Moments later a body is found in a nearby ante-room and there can be only one conclusion...murder! But who can solve this most heinous of crimes and bring the perpetrator of this darkest of deeds to justice? Well...you can. 'Murder at Haigh Hall' is an exciting new event which will see the borough's jewel in the crown used as the backdrop for an evening of high drama, exquisite food and great fun.

Staff at the hall have teamed up with Wigan Pier Theatre Company to produce a truly unique event, which will allow anyone the chance to take part in the Victorians' favourite parlour game - solving a murder mystery.

Haigh Hall's Sales and Events Officer Jill Smith, explains, "We wanted to create an exciting event that shows off everything the hall has to offer to its fullest. We know that murder mystery events can be extremely popular and you couldn't really ask for a better location."

Jill adds, "A team of professional actors from Wigan Pier Theatre Company will be playing the parts of the various suspects during the evening. Guests will enjoy a four-course carvery meal and in between each course more of the plot will be revealed. At the end everyone will be given the opportunity to guess who the killer is."

Wigan Pier Theatre Company's Artistic Director Stewart Aitken is currently busy finalising the script for the big night and he's chosen the backdrop of real historical events to bring the piece to life. "The Prince and Princess of Wales did visit Haigh Hall for the opening of the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary in 1873," he says. "So this seemed like a perfect way to blend the colourful history of the hall with the fictitious murder."

"The actors will be in full period costume on the night and each will play a different suspect. It will be a mixture of scripted scenes and improvisation with guests being given the chance to question the suspects before reaching their conclusion. We know that some of those people who have already bought tickets are planning to enter into the spirit of things by dressing in Victorian costume so it promises to be a fantastic evening."

And the date for this tale of murder most horrid? It could only be one...Friday 13th October! "Tickets are already on sale and are going fast," says Jill. "Half of them have already been snapped up. We are planning two more murder mystery events at Haigh Hall in the run up to Christmas on December 14th and 21st, which should be great parties and all have a different outcome. If they are successful we'll be putting many more such events on in the future."

Tickets for Murder at Haigh Hall are priced 35 and are on sale now. To book your place or for more information call 01942 832895 or visit www.haighhall.net.

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