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trainee 2020 social - murder in the red room

27 October 2020

Starting our first seats as a trainee during lockdown has been a bit of a strange experience. As our cohort started our training contracts virtually, some of us have yet to go into the office and most bizarrely, we’ve not yet met face to face as a group.

From speaking with previous trainees, it’s hard not to be jealous of the comradery they built up during their training contracts through the PSC, working alongside each other in their offices and most notably, their socials.

That said, my cohort has been pretty good at building good relationships through weekly ‘virtual drinks’ calls via Teams. However, we decided enough was enough and that we weren’t going to let Covid get in the way of us having fun. This led to our first official social – a virtual murder mystery party!

I’d never done a murder mystery party before so didn’t know what to expect. Each of us were provided with a character, a script and a list of props that we would need to acquire. Some props were relatively easy to locate (e.g. a mobile phone or glass of water) whereas we had to be a bit more creative with others: I had to substitute a packet of plasters for a first aid kit and a piece of blank paper was used to represent a work of art. Fancy dress and accompanying alcoholic beverages were optional, but most of us opted for a drink beforehand to prepare us for our performances.

We then had to read through our scripts to see how the mystery played out. Sometimes the script would provide us with our exact lines and other times it asked us to make up our own which could be quite stressful: trying to come up with a reason why you refused to be searched off the top of your head was more difficult than it should have been. We had a variety of characters to play and extra points go to Andrew Douglas for his Scottish accent – true commitment to the role!

As the night went on, we uncovered secret relationships, plans for revenge and a couple of us even had the misfortune of dying part way through, myself included. While I gave it my all in my death scene, I’m not sure I’m going to be winning an Oscar any time soon. Ultimately the murderer was revealed, and we ended the night having a good old catch up.

The consensus was that we all had a great time and I recommend a virtual murder mystery to anyone looking for their next team social. We’re already planning our next virtual social and hopefully it won’t be too long before we can meet up in person!

Starting a training contract during lockdown hasn’t been the easiest thing but I have to say this cohort has taken it in our stride and there is no other group of trainees I’d rather have started with. So, bring on the next social!