Catalogue of Plays

We have a vast selection of murder mystery event plays, mystery event plays, a full length play and even a pantomime. More »

Custom Written Scripts

Nothing fitting the bill? Working with you and to your deadlines, we can create a script to suit your cast, resources and event. More »

Fabulously Fun Fundraising. We write the plays. You perform them.

Whether you’re a theatre group attempting to top up the am dram coffers, a parent and teacher association seeking profits for your school or a local cause planning a money making event, we want to help. More »

FAQs

Otherwise known as Frequently Asked Questions. This is where we tell you what you get for your money, reasons why a murder mystery evening could work for you and the facts about pricing and delivery. More »

Am Dram Groups for Hire

If your am dram group would like to earn some extra money, why not join our list of am dram groups available for hire to perform Murdering The Text plays. More »

The Guilty Parties

Want to know who is penning these murderous tales? On the trail of some prime suspects? To look over our mugshots, visit our About Us page. More »

Testimonials

If you would like to find out what our customers have been saying about us, visit our Testimonials page. More »

The Directors Handbook

Want to know what the Directors Handbook contains? More »

 

10 ways to raise funds for your amateur dramatics group

14th August 2017

In an ideal world, amateur dramatics groups could exist on ticket sales, raffles, bar takings and membership fees.

In the real world, most am dram groups have to raise extra funds outside their shows and productions.

Murdering The Text was born from just such a need – bolstering the am dram coffers so that our group could continue to entertain our community.

But beyond table top sales and selling off old stock, how do you raise those much needed funds?

1. Hold a murder mystery evening

This was always going to be number one on our list, but holding a regular murder mystery evening can be a great way to raise the money needed to stage your big productions like your yearly pantomime.

For ten reasons why it could provide just the financial boost you need, click on this link.

2. Bingo Night

It used to be that bingo nights were for the ‘mature set’ but nowadays bingo attracts a vastly wider audience. In fact, it’s become quite fashionable and an event that regularly attracts hen parties.

Add to the night’s entertainment with songs and sketches by group members, a comedy caller and a well-stocked drinks and refreshments supply, and you could be onto a winner.

3. Carol Singing

You don’t have to be religious to enjoy carol singing (or listening). Belting out ‘We wish you a Merry Christmas’, with a fundraising bucket in hand, is sure to attract passers-by. You can hand out flyers too, for your next production or just to raise the visibility of your group.

Reach out to your local shopping centres for a singing spot.

Contact your council about a busking permit to take your carolling to the streets.

Arrange with a local department store that is accommodating a Father Christmas grotto to entertain the waiting children.

If you’re mid-pantomime rehearsals, have your Dame come along in a sparkly costume.

4. Hire out your group for events

Performing at your usual venue is ideal for attracting a local audience but travelling to different venues will open up your group to a whole new audience.

You could hire your group out for murder mystery evenings (see our Groups for Hire page), sing, or perform potted pantomimes or one act plays.

Clients could include:

  • fundraising organisations such as rotary clubs and PTAs
  • schools
  • local businesses
  • and shopping centres.

5. Sponsorship

Ok, so this is theoretically part of a production, but obtaining sponsorship from local businesses can not only provide you with an item that your group would normally have spent tons of money on (printing, website, timber and paint, bar supplies) but also create a useful link to your community.

In return, your sponsor will be featured in all your publicity material and content, such as your programmes, news articles and website.

6. Renting out your resources

Most am dram groups will have built up an impressive collection of scenery, props, furniture, lighting and costumes, to name but a few.

Many of these will only be put to work in the close run-up to and during a production. For the rest of the time, they sit in your storage doing nothing.

Why not put them to use to earn the group some money?

Approach other am dram groups and event organisers to see if they would be willing to rent an item from you.

Advertise in local press or on am dram related websites such as amdram.co.uk

Do remember to draw up a contract with whomever you rent your item to though.

7. Appear at local events

As with the carol singing above, why not take your group out into the community to perform at local events?

These could be school fayres, village fetes, or local festivals.

Don’t forget to take your fundraising bucket and your flyers though.

This is also an excellent opportunity to publicise your group in the local press.

8. Hold a charity auction

Help a charity and your am dram group too by holding an auction.

Approach your sponsors and businesses in your community for items to auction. Any of these who provide an item to auction will be listed in your auction programme.

Add some additional entertainment such as songs or a murder mystery.

Although the auction sale proceeds will go to the charity, the ticket sales and bar sales will go to your group. Plus, this is another opportunity to attract the local press.

9. Offer drama or musical workshops

If you have professionally trained members (musicians, vocal coaches, drama teachers, etc) then why not put their talents to work by holding a workshop?

This could be for adults or children, and held at your usual venue or taken out into a local school or community centre.

Not just great for fundraising, holding a workshop can create links with your local community and attract new members too.

10. Fundraising shopping websites

Have you heard about these? Here’s how it works.

You register your am dram group with one of these websites, such as Easy Fundraising or Giving A Bit.

You publicise this service through your website and social media to your audience and members.

They shop with retailers online through this fundraising website.

Their purchase goes through as normal but a percentage of what they spend goes directly to your group. Win win!

Obviously, only some retailers are registered with these sites but they tend to be the bigger stores such as M&S, Morrisons, and Thomson Holidays.

Fundraising doesn’t have to raise a groan amongst your group members whenever it crops up at a meeting. Turn it into a fun, social event for everyone and see your am dram group prosper.

No murder mystery play to suit? No problem. We’ll write one for you.

5th August 2017

Not enough men and you can’t fit a four-piece suite onto your stage? The difficulties in finding a play to fit can be never ending when every penny matters.

So, what are your options?

You can change the sex or age of the characters, possibly doubling up on parts.

You can attempt to fit four people onto a two-seater sofa.

You can give up and find another play.

Or, you can contact Murdering The Text.

We’ll take into account your cast, your stage and your theme, along with any other resources or factors you want to include.

Already got an idea for a murder mystery play? Here are some of the ways we can incorporate your ideas into a script:

  • If you’ve chosen a particular period (e.g. the 1960s) or a historical event for your play to be themed around, we’ll carry out the necessary research to not only write a play for you, but share our research with you too.
  • You have an idea for a storyline but you’re not quite sure how to write it down. We’re happy to use your storyline as a basis for your play.
  • You’ve thought up a wonderful set of characters, maybe based around your available cast, but you’ve no idea how they could be put to work. Send them over to us and we’ll write a play around them.

All of our custom written plays are created in ongoing discussion with you, the client.

If your cast changes over the course of writing, we’ll change our character list.

If your play is relocated, we’ll re-write to suit your new stage.

After all, this is as much your play as it is ours.

For details of the cost of this service, please visit our Prices and Delivery page.

Contact me today to discuss writing a custom made play for your group.

7 ways that amateur dramatics groups can keep their members (happy)

17th July 2017

Any theatre group is only as good as its company of members, and this is doubly so for amateur dramatics groups.

So how can you maintain your membership numbers?

1. Stay in touch

Most amateur dramatics groups these days have some form of online presence. It could be a website, a Facebook page, a Twitter account or a combination of all of those.

A notice on your website or Facebook page, an emailed newsletter or even a text is an ideal way to not only keep your members up to date with what’s happening with your group, but ensure they feel like a part of your am dram community too.

Physical newsletters can be handed out at group meetings, and what’s stopping you arranging social nights out for your members too?

2. Listen to your members

You may well have a committee and a youth representative for your younger members, but there’s nothing to stop you actually asking for the opinions of your members as a whole.

What shows would they like to perform? Would they like to take on different roles within the group (from actor to lighting technician, or from backstage to director)? How would they like to see the group develop?

If you want members to stay interested in your group, then give them a say in its future.

3. A role for every member

There’s nothing worse than enthusiastically joining an am dram group, then finding that there’s no role for you for two thirds of the year.

If a member isn’t cast in a production, or isn’t available for a portion of time, then ensure that they are involved in the next production.

Involvement doesn’t have to be onstage. There’s the backstage crew, the production team, marketing and publicity, and so much more. Don’t lose members because they feel they’re not wanted.

4. Choose plays that fit your cast

Of course, there will always be plays that the group/chairman/committee/director is keen to perform but there is no sense in deciding on a play that you can’t cast.

The flip side to that is choosing a play that has a small cast and will leave many of your actors without roles. If you choose a small cast play for one production, then make sure that your productions for the rest of the year will give your other actors a chance at a part.

5. Put them in charge

Encourage your members to organise side events, such as fundraisers.

Acting on behalf of the group, and in agreement with your committee, group members can take the weight off the chairman and co by setting up their own events such as bingo nights, sponsorships through work, and nights out for your members.

Giving them this responsibility will strengthen their commitment to the group and make them feel a real part of your am dram community.

6. Include their friends and family

Don’t limit the involvement of members’ friends and family just to ticket sales. Ask if they’d like to help backstage, front of house or with creating props.

If you have child and teen members, then their parents will probably already be involved with ferrying them around and sourcing costume items. Show them that you appreciate their help through free entry to one show a year or one of those side events.

7. Congratulate them on a job well done

This is something that is often forgotten. Yes, of course, your members attend your am dram group because they want to be involved in your shows but remember how much they give to the group (including their membership fees) and show them that you appreciate their time and effort.

Tell them how much their involvement means to the group. Congratulate them on yet another, brilliant production. Have an after-show party for them all.

Make it a win-win scenario all round and your members will keep coming back show after show.