In this inside story, Company Director Shannon Lane Dupont reflects on the journey she took to bring Murder Most Medieval to the Mystery Cafe stage. The revival opens on Saturday 1/28 at the Elephant and Castle.
Murder Most Medieval is one of my favorite Mystery Café shows for so many reasons. It started as an idea I had back in 2009, and after several years of conceptual development and collaboration with David Stickney, Christian Galpin and Scott Sand we finally completed one of the best scripts our company had ever seen. It was funny, it was suspenseful, the characters were fully realized and the cultural references were broad enough that everyone could understand them. The show opened in the fall of 2014 to rave reviews and sold out audiences.
It was a professional success to be sure, but for me it was also a very personal one. Many major life events had happened during the 5 years it took to get this show off the ground. In 2011 I chose to take some time off to care for my ill grandfather on Cape Cod, leaving the Mystery Café for a stretch of 2 years. One of Grampy’s nurses, Kevin DuPont, turned out to be a former elementary school classmate of mine and in 2013 he also became my husband. At our wedding that fall, at least half of the Murder Most Medieval production team attended and celebrated with us.
By that time, I was able to return to the work I loved and was once again running the Mystery Café. One of my first priorities was reviving interest in our medieval show and bringing it to the stage. Scott Sand agreed to write the final script in the spring of 2014, rehearsals began that summer and we opened in September, right before I gave birth to my first son, Jack. Because I was pregnant through the production process, I still joke that Murder Most Medieval was the first performance Jack ever saw!
Now here we are, 2½ years later. The Medieval Manor has closed in Boston leaving a void for some good old fashioned entertainment, and the time seemed right to bring our show back for an encore run. I cannot wait to revisit these characters – the villainous Queen Maliciouscent, the goofball King Edward, the pitch perfect Lady Larkolyn, the underachieving Sir Lancelittle, and the court jester Falstiff. Even the court musician Sir John of Felton will be returning!
And on a personal note, it turns out that my second child (still in utero) will also get to “see” Murder Most Medieval as their first performance too making it an official family tradition. Huzzah!