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Some people would be disconcerted if a coffin bearing their name arrived at the front door – but this is exactly what clients of award-winning entertainment small business Ovations are receiving when they order the brand-new “Murder In A Box”.
The brainchild of former WA Young Businesswoman of the Year, Katrina Bercov, the product is a fully equipped function package, allowing people to create a real, live “Whodunit?” where guests play a character and try to solve the mystery.
Katrina first started offering hosted Murder Mystery Nights when she was 19 years old. She expanded the business from Perth to Melbourne and Adelaide, hiring professional actors to run the events.
Over time, more and more customers were asking if they could have a Murder Mystery they could run themselves. Katrina said “Sure!” and went ahead and designed them! The first one was sent to London.
The live, interactive theatre product is hugely popular for a range of events.
“We provide them for staff social functions, conference ice-breakers, Bob’s 50th – any occasion where people are looking for something different,” Katrina says. “We’ve done loads of Hen’s Nights! … No Buck’s Nights so far …”
The “Murder In A Box” also responds to the demand from community groups for creative, inexpensive fundraisers.
“It retails at only $180.00 so a fund-raising group can have sixty people sleuthing their hearts out for $3 per head. They charge what they like on top of that and make some money for their group while everyone’s having a great time bribing and black-mailing each other!” Katrina explained.
Arriving in the mail in an eerie, eye-catching miniature coffin, Katrina says the Australian-made package has caused quite a stir.
“We do get lots of comments on the box! “ she said. “The post offices didn’t know what to make of us at first – but I think they’re used to us now.”
Katrina’s original inspiration for creating Murder Mystery Nights was the belief that adults need to play. Live, interactive theatre is the perfect medium.
“Most of our clients get dressed up for their characters and get right into it. Many people say they’ll never see their friends the same way again. We reckon the world would be a better place if more adults would remember to play …”
The Murder In A Box is suitable for 15-60 people and comes in four themes: Hollywood Scandal, Tracy Gang 1920’s, Caribbean Cruise and Wild West.