Everything You Need To Know for 30 June

We are delighted you may be joining us for A Dinner To Die For.  Here’s everything we think you could want to know before the show.

There will be laughter, merriment, singing and of course eating. Will everybody’s night be ruined when a most shocking murder occurs? Not generally the case, it will only add to the fun and it will leave a mystery to be solved

A Dinner To Die For is probably not like anything you’ve experienced before. Our venue ensures your meal is of the highest quality, this is not a theatre restaurant!

Party guests are allocated a role for the night and encouraged (but not required) to indulge their inner artiste by dressing and behaving in character. They play the game as detective for the night whilst mingling over dinner. Subplots emerge and the evening begins to gather pace and spices up into a hilarious romp peppered with music, murder, mysteries, disembodied limbs and suitably hysterical screams.

You’re always free to participate as much or as little as you choose Some guests may only use the character they’re given as a conversation starter when making introductions, some guests embrace their character’s personalities throughout the show, while others may forget whom their characters are supposed to be.  Guests are also encouraged, but not expected, to dress up as much or as little as they choose. For some tips and ideas on costumes please scroll down. We feel embracing your character adds to the fun. but there should be no reason to feel uncomfortable at A Dinner To Die For. You’re always free to participate as much or as little as you choose.

The drama is what makes A Dinner To Die For different. The actors will mix with you in-character, and in-between courses the show will unfold at and around the table.

Time, Place & Menu

Your A Dinner to Die For doors will open at 5.30pm on Saturday 30th June. Please aim to arrive in good time to enjoy a welcome cocktail beforehand in the foyer of the Country Club to allow for a prompt start.

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A Dinner to Die For – the menu

From 5.30pm a pre-dinner cocktail

The Summer Elm, the Winter Elm or Victim’s Blood

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Anti-pasto platters to share

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Barramundi fillet with champagne and dill butter sauce

Or

Chicken breast filled with spinach and brie

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Choice of Desserts

 Crème Brûlée

Baked Cheesecake

Poached Pear with Orange Custard Sauce

Passionfruit Tart

Plot Synopsis

Not molecular gastronomy, but a wickedly funny Musical, Murder Mystery Dinner.

Set in 1928, Lord Quinten Daventry hosts his party bash. Rumour in social circles is that he will announce his engagement to Miss Fanny.

The core cast include the delightfully flighty Miss Fanny, besotted and oblivious to the designs on her fortune. Uncle Bernie, former army colonel, a blustering, big-bellied chauvinist.  The pièce de résistance has to be Nanny Maude, Quinten’s childhood Nanny. Scottish down to her brown boots, Subplots emerge and the evening begins to gather pace and spices up into a hilarious romp peppered with music, murder, mysteries, disembodied limbs and suitably hysterical screams.

Your hosts for the night

Lord Quinten Daventry

Your genial host who has invited everybody to Daventry Manor to celebrate his birthday.   The only son of Lord Harold and Lady Henrietta Daventry, who were both tragically killed some years ago. Now Lord of the family estate, Lord Quinten has attracted rumours that suggest his gambling habits and decadent lifestyle has left him with some serious debts.

Miss Fanny Farquar

has exceedingly wealthy parents who live in India and own vast amounts of land and property. Until recently she has done very little with her life – that was until she met Gwendella Garavinah. Gwendella has encouraged Miss Fanny to take up painting and to apparently develop a keen interest in the arts. Miss Fanny has a very whimsical and nervous disposition. She is not renowned for either her wit or her personality.

Captain Montague Smedley-Downes

is a Captain in the British Army, and Miss Fanny’s closest confidante. Society thought that the two were an excellent match, yet Monty never seemed to get around to proposing to her. Miss Fanny’s whirlwind romance with Lord Quinten has devastated him, and has a soul-destroying hunch that they intend to get married. He invited himself to this party so try to prevent this calamity.

Gwendella Garavinah

is Miss Fanny’s tutor and mentor in the fine arts. She claims to be a mystic advisor to the rich and famous. Little else is known of her background but many rumours abound.

Great Uncle Bernie

every family has one. Great Uncle Bernie is the brother of Lord Quinten’s mother. He was a senior officer in the British Army during the Great War. He strongly disapproves of Lord Quinten’s lifestyle and gambling habits. He is very fond of Miss Fanny, seeing her as someone who will ‘calm’ Lord Quinten down. He is a lecherous gentleman with a particular fondness for the ladies.

Nanny Maude

She was Lord Quinten’s Nanny and was given the right to use the Daventry name by his father in honour of her work and devotion to duty. She is an eccentric lady who adores Quinten.  She is a psychic and, usefully, an amateur detective. There are rather scandalous rumours surrounding the closeness of her relationship with Lord Quinten’s father.

Costume Ideas
Fashion in the 1920’s

Ladies

Waists went lower, skirts revealing more leg, the traditional ‘flapper’ dress epitomises the era. Brassieres came ‘in’ but were designed to flatten the bust. Hair was worn short sometimes with ‘spit’ curls. The make up of the period was for bright lip-stick often with bow lips, pale complexions, dark heavily made up eyes and colourful nail varnish.

Accessories might include small purse bags, Art Deco or Egyptian style jewellery, feather boas, ornate supper shoes, opera coats, tassels, turbans, cigarette holders and cases and gloves (full length gloves were only worn with long dresses).

Gentlemen

Menswear was still predominantly very formal. Dinner suits and jackets (usually black, white or velvet), tails, bow ties, with wing collar shirts, cravats, cummerbunds and gloves would usually have been worn. The hair was often worn ‘slicked’ down with short ‘pencil’ moustaches. Some more fashionable men later in the twenties began adopting brighter ties, lighter suits, softer hats, wider trousers (the Oxford Bag) and even suede shoes.

Accessories might include canes or folded umbrellas, cigarette cases, watches on chains, monocles and scarves.

FOR COUPLES

MR VINCENT & MRS VIRGINIA ABLESMOUNT

A quiet and introverted couple who run the local library. They in fact met and fell in love over the “non-fiction”. They are obsessed with their work and spend their free time cataloguing their collection of ancient Mongolian poetry and Peruvian folk songs. At times they can be convinced to give a poetry reading or a Peruvian song recital

MR ALFIE & MRS IVY BASS

Alfie is a self-made businessman who is the owner of a successful brewing company. He was not born of the aristocracy but has worked hard to achieve his wealth and success. Invited to the party by Great Uncle Bernie with whom Alfie shares a passion for beer.  The pair is brewing a new business venture. Alfie is keen to sign the contract, as he requires Bernie’s financial backing. Despite her working class background Ivy is a frightful snob, particularly about other people’s manners.

VISCOUNT REGINALD BASSENTHWAITE & MISS RUBY HUBBLE

The Viscount is a professional art dealer and hopes to make a bid on the Constable painting Fanny is rumoured to be giving to Quinten as a birthday present. He knows of Quinten’s financial difficulties and hopes to take advantage by offering Quinten substantially less than the painting is actually worth. The Viscount should attempt to offer Quinten money to buy the painting from him. Miss Ruby Hubble was formally the Viscount’s scullery maid until they fell in love whilst she was polishing the Viscount’s valuables. She can be known to embarrass the Viscount, as she tends to fall back into her maid’s role and always wants to help the servants, despite his express instructions for her to desist.

LADY OSWALD KINGSLEY & MISS AMELIA ETHERINGTON

Lady Kingsley is a very wealthy financier, to whom Lord Quinten owes a great deal of money. She has been invited, in an attempt by Quinten, to placate her demands for the money to be paid back. Miss Etherington is her very glamorous companion and a raving socialite and one of the era’s “Bright Young Things”. Lady Kingsley is at the end of her tether and is intent on recovering her loan tonight – whatever the consequences.

LORD KURTLEY & LADY KATRINA CAINE

They are local gentry and friends of Lord Quinten’s parents, Harold and Henrietta. They attended Quinten’s christening and were named as his godparents. Having known the family for many years, the couple were also well acquainted with Quinten’s Nanny Maude.  Mr Dicky Diclomenty, the local newspaper reporter, ran a story many years ago suggesting Lord Caine and Quinten’s Nanny had been found inappropriately meeting without a chaperone. Many scandalous rumours abound. Lady Caine should confront Nanny Maude about these rumours.

MR ALBERT & MRS ALICE FARNSNIP

Albert and Alice are a gentle couple and friends of Lord Quinten’s Nanny Maude. They attend the party every year, usually travelling from Scotland with Nanny Maude. They earn their living from making tartan and are fanatical members of the Scottish Folk Dancing Society, taking any opportunity to do a highland fling or similar folk dance.

MR PRESTON & MRS PRU CROWMARSH

They are an odd local couple and are the founding (and only) members of the local Rabbit Breeding Association (R.B.A). They are particularly proud of their prize rabbit, an American Fuzzy Lop. They also run a florist in the local town and have been approaching Lord Quinten in the hope that he will, next year, fund the rabbit breeder’s equivalent of the Melbourne Cup, Best Bunny 1929. Lord Quinten has invited them in the hope that he can persuade them to involve someone else. Mr & Mrs Crowmarsh should take every opportunity to ask Lord Quinten and his other guests for funding for what they consider to be a very worthy cause.

MR DICKY & MRS DIVINIA DICLOMENTY

Dicky is the editor of the local newspaper and has a reputation for scandalous reporting. He has no scruples where a story is to be had. Dicky and his wife have not exactly been invited to the party but have come as they have heard matrimony is in the air- but all may not be as it seems – they sniff a story! They are both very inquisitive and poke their noses into everyone’s business, especially that of the upper classes. They should question Miss Fanny about her relationships.

MR BASIL & MRS BERNICE FAFFLEMOUNT-FORBES

Basil is a man who has an eye for the ladies. He is a part owner of the St Saviours’ Mental Asylum and he and his wife are great friends of the Pembertons. Bernice is a very jealous woman who cannot bear for other women to speak to Basil. As a result they are constantly arguing. They are also leading members of the Republican Movement and take every opportunity to push their anti-monarchist views.

BARON GERHARD & BARONESS AGNETHA HAASE

He is a Swedish property tycoon, interested in purchasing the Manor, with plans to turn it into a hotel. He should seek out columnist from ‘Homes Today’ Miss Dora Dodsworth as she could help with publicity around this new business venture. Agnetha, is a star of popular music, in Sweden, and speaks English in her own strange way. She loves to burst into song at any mention of love or lovers.

LORD PEREGRINE & LADY PRUNELLA HARGREAVES

Lord Peregrine is a wealthy film director and his wife is a writer. They are currently casting for their next film, “The Beast Within” and are scouting for talent.  It is said to be one of world’s first ‘talking’ movies. Prunella has a liking for the sherry, causing her husband a great deal of embarrassment as she becomes very “fruity” when drunk.  Lord Hargreaves should take every opportunity to ‘screen test’ guests for parts in his new film, inviting them to act out scenarios and dialogue of your choosing- Roger, the butler, in particular.

MR IVOR & MRS INGRAM INGLETON

They are a very wealthy couple. Ivor is the owner of the local casino where Lord Daventry is a regular customer. As a consequence, Lord Daventry owes him a great deal of money. Ingram is a writer for the Readers’ Digest. Both are old friends of the Daventry family. Ivor is intent on recovering the gambling debt from Lord Quinten and has employed two ‘heavies’ to intimidate him. He will stop at nothing to recover his money. His wife supports him in this endeavour by constantly suggesting to Lord Daventry that an ‘unfavourable’ story about him could find its way into the Readers’ Digest.

MR EDMUND & MRS ELVIRA MORRIS–MINTER

The Morris-Minters have lived on the Daventry estate all their lives and as a result knows the family well.  Edmund worked in the garden. He is a rosy chap with green fingers who takes every opportunity to discuss his rhododendrons and other garden flora. He affectionately calls Lord Daventry ‘Lord Lavatory’. Elvira used to be a maid in the household staff but she was made redundant, along with her husband, as a result of Lord Daventry’s financial problems. Roger the Butler has, much to her annoyance, taken her place, and indeed the place of the whole household staff. Both know Roger is incompetent and that his references for the job are  probably fake. They dress as they did when working at the Manor as they have no other clothes and no money to buy any.

MR NORMAN & MRS VIVIANA NEADS-HOLMES

Well known in the community for their begging. They currently live in a derelict shack without running water and, as a result, can be purveyors of strong odour. Of course polite society would never mention this. Miss Fanny felt sorry for them in the street and has invited them in for the night. They are amazed by the rich food and high living and are constantly found trying to steal the cutlery, glasses, table cloths- indeed anything they feel might be either useful or saleable. Indeed, the clothes they are wearing have been stolen from the clotheslines of a number of local wealthy families, and are rather mismatched to say the least.

MR PERCIVAL & MISS POPPY PEMBERTON

Percival is the patron of St Saviour’s Mental Asylum, situated close to the Manor. Poppy is Percival’s younger sister and is a nurse at the asylum. They are a slightly odd couple, spending too much of their time with each other and the patients in their care. This has resulted in them having acquired a number of nervous twitches. They are friends of Fanny’s parents who insisted that they represented them at the traditional birthday gathering. They know of the Farquar family scandal but cannot say what it is.

REVEREND EDGAR & MRS ROSE PRIESTLEY

A well respected local clergyman and his wife. He was a lifelong friend of Lord Quinten’s parents until their tragic death. Reverend Priestley presided over their joint funeral. They are greatly disturbed by rumours of Lord Quinten’s decadent and irresponsible life style. Reverend Priestley is renowned in the local community for his bawdy humour and raucous laughter whilst Mrs Priestley is known for her organisational abilities at the village’s summer fete, wide brimmed hats and her gooseberry jam. She is often seen jotting down ingredients for recipes that she seeks from others, particularly the upper class.

MR DERMONT TWIGGLE & The COUNTESS CRESSIDA VON TOTT

The Countess is Hungarian and is said to be of Royal descent. She speaks with a thick accent and presents a dark and intriguing figure.  She often gets her English idioms completely mixed up, commenting that women look as ‘pretty as a preacher’, or that men must be ‘randy to have around the house’. Her constant, and only, companion is Mr Twiggle. He is a well-known author writing books which are sexually explicit and which many in society find shocking and vulgar. They are however, always-best sellers, yet no one will admit to reading them. He insists on his surname being pronounced “Twigglay” and gets very offended if it is pronounced any other way. He is a colourful party guest, some may say even a little camp, with a taste for soft furnishings and wearing velvet.

MISS WILLENA & MISS WINIFRED WALLIS

They are spinster sisters, neighbours to the Daventry estate and upstanding members of the local community. Winifred claims to have psychic powers and is thrilled at the opportunity to meet mystic mentor to the rich and famous, Gwendella Garavinah. She must insist Gwendella conducts a séance this evening. Willena is a shy and retiring woman with a quirky passion for trains, stamp collecting and rare breeds of rabbit. She is particularly thrilled that Mr & Mrs Preston Crowmarsh may be attending tonight as they chair the local Rabbit Breeders’ Association. She is intent on finding out more about the breeding habits of the rare American Fuzzy Lop.

MR MARVYN WELLINGTON & MS MAROON STARSHINER

They are the leading lights of the British surrealist Dada movement primarily involved visual arts, and theatre, their focus is to ridicule what they consider to be the meaninglessness of the modern world. In addition to being anti-war, dada is also anti-bourgeois and anarchist in nature. Lord Quinten thought they’d be ‘fun’ to invite to this evening’s event as they never disappoint in their surrealist apparel and interpretive dance movements.

MR EDGAR & MRS EMMY WORTHINGATE

Emmy is a close and dear friend of Fanny’s and knew her sister Fifi. The girls went to school together. Edgar is a miner and his family is very poor as a result of the miner’s strike of 1920. They are looked upon very much as being of the working class and as a result looked down upon by the aristocratic party guests. They have twelve children about whom they talk incessantly, particularly the eldest- as he has just been chosen as the shoeshine boy for the touring English cricket team.  Fanny has kindly lent them clothes for the dinner.

COLONEL ALISTAIR & MRS LUCRETIA PLATTINGTON-SMYTHE

The couple are acquaintances of Monty and his father from the British Army. Alistair has a low opinion of Monty and his ability as a soldier and salutes everyone except for Monty.  Monty’s father, General Marmaduke Smedley-Downes is said to have been responsible for the most humiliating defeat the British Army ever encountered in 1915-16, forcing passage through the Dardanelles during the Great War.  Alistair and his wife never let the family forget it and are convinced death follows Monty around. They must make mention of this fact if ever the occasion arises. Lucretia believes Gwendella Garavinah has evil powers and tries to convince her to use them on Monty

Major MICHAEL & Mrs ELIZABETH DAWSON

Major Dawson served under Colonel Plattington-Smythe during the Great War and shares his poor opinion of Monty and his father’s abilities as soldiers.   He and his wife Elizabeth live locally and are the leading lights of the local Bowls Club for whom they have won many trophies. When Elizabeth is not bowling she likes to host parties, particularly elegant afternoon teas at which she serves delicious home-made scones and cakes.   She is a very gentle lady but gets very upset when her husband talks of Monty and his father as she knows it makes him angry and raises his blood pressure.

FOR SOLO GENTLEMEN

MR ALFIE BASS

Alfie is a self-made businessman who is the owner of a successful brewing company. He was not born of the aristocracy but has worked hard to achieve his wealth and success. Invited to the party by Great Uncle Bernie with whom Alfie shares a passion for beer.  The pair is brewing a new business venture. Alfie is keen to sign the contract, as he requires Bernie’s financial backing.

VISCOUNT REGINALD BASSENTHWAITE

The Viscount is a professional art dealer and hopes to make a bid on the Constable painting Fanny is rumoured to be giving to Quinten as a birthday present. He knows of Quinten’s financial difficulties and hopes to take advantage by offering Quinten substantially less than the painting is actually worth. The Viscount should attempt to offer Quinten money to buy the painting from him.

LORD KURTLEY CAINE

Lord Kaine is a member of the local gentry and a friend of Lord Quinten’s parents. He attended Quinten’s christening and was named as his godfather. Having known the family for many years, Henry was also well acquainted with Quinten’s Nanny Maude.  Mr Dicky Diclomenty, the local newspaper reporter, ran a story many years ago suggesting Lord Caine and Quinten’s Nanny had been found inappropriately meeting without a chaperone. Many scandalous rumours abound.

MR PRESTON CROWMARSH

Preston is the founding (and only) member of the local Rabbit Breeding Association (R.B.A). He is particularly proud of his prize rabbit, an American Fuzzy Lop. He also runs a florist in the local town and has been approaching Lord Quinten in the hope that he will, next year, fund the rabbit breeder’s equivalent of the Melbourne Cup, Best Bunny 1929. Lord Quinten has invited him in the hope that he can persuade him to involve someone else. Mr Crowmarsh should take every opportunity to ask Lord Quinten and his other guests for funding for what he considers to be a very worthy cause.

LORD DARIUS DALRYMPLE

He is a politically well-connected member of the House of Lords who has turned up to the party as a favour to Lord Quinten. He has rather a high opinion of himself and loves to discuss his influence and connections to the Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin and his plans to upgrade the Royal Ascot racetrack. For this reason he seeks out any publicity and tonight will particularly look for Dicky and Divinia Dicolmenty.

MR DEXTER DASHWOOD

He is a ‘businessman’ who is rumoured to have underworld connections. He likes to hint at this to those around him as he enjoys his own notoriety. He has been invited only because Lord Quinten owes him money and is afraid of making an enemy of him. He is also aware of the rumours about Quinten’s father having had an affair a year before Quinten was born and is not beyond threatening Quinten with exposure. He must make Quinten aware that he holds power over him.

MR DICKY DICLOMENTY

Dicky is the editor of the local newspaper and has a reputation for scandalous reporting. He has no scruples where a story is to be had. Dicky has not exactly been invited to the party but has come as he has heard matrimony is in the air-but all may not be as it seems – he sniffs a story! He is very inquisitive and pokes his nose into everyone’s business, especially that of the upper classes. He should question Miss Fanny about her relationships.

SIR EUGENE ELLIOT

He is a very wealthy, suave bachelor on the look out for a pretty young wife to provide him with an heir. Unfortunately, he has some dysfunction when it comes to ‘performing’ in the bedroom and is hoping to speak to Dr Holst to find out if there is a cure. Despite this, he is not shy about telling people about his problem, believing that if he lets enough people know someone will come up with an answer.

MR BASIL FAFFLEMOUNT-FORBES

Basil is a man who has an eye for the ladies and is a part owner of the St Saviours’ Mental Asylum. He is a leading member of the Republican Movement and takes every opportunity to push his anti-monarchist views.

MR ALBERT FARNSNIP

Albert is a friend of Lord Quinten’s Nanny Maude. He attends the party every year, usually travelling from Scotland with Nanny Maude. He earns his living from making tartan and is a fanatical member of the Scottish Folk Dancing Society, taking any opportunity to do a highland fling or similar folk dance.

BARON GERHARD HAASE

He is a Swedish property tycoon, interested in purchasing the Manor, with plans to turn it into a hotel. He should seek out columnist from ‘Homes Today’ Miss Dora Dodsworth as she could help with publicity around this new business venture. He speaks English in his own strange way and as a romantic he loves to burst into song at any mention of love or lovers.

LORD PEREGRINE HARGREAVES

Lord Peregrine is a wealthy film director and  is currently casting for his next film, “The Beast Within”. He is scouting for talent to play various roles.  It is said to be one of world’s first ‘talking’ movies. Lord Hargreaves should take every opportunity to ‘screen test’ guests for parts in his new film, inviting them to act out scenarios and dialogue of his choosing- Roger, the butler, in particular.

DR.RUPERT HOLST

World renowned as a psychologist, Dr Holst follows the new wave ideas of Sigmund Freud. Dr Holst is therefore obsessed with people’s toilet training history. Dr Holst is German and currently working at St Saviour’s Mental Asylum on a particularly difficult case. Dr Holst recognises Miss Fanny but cannot place from exactly where.

MR IVOR INGLETON

Ivor is the wealthy owner of the local casino where Lord Daventry is a regular customer. As a consequence, Lord Daventry owes him a great deal of money. Ivor is intent on recovering the gambling debt from Lord Quinten and has employed two ‘heavies’ to intimidate him. He will stop at nothing to recover his money.

Mr JAMES FORRESTER

James works at St. Saviour’s Mental Asylum as Percival Pemberton’s invaluable assistant. He is a quiet studious man who normally prefers his books to parties, but Mr. Pemberton worries that he studies too much and has insisted that he accompany him and his wife to the party tonight.

MR EDMUND MORRIS–MINTER

Edmund Morris-Minter has lived on the Daventry estate all his life and as a result knows the family well.  Edmund worked in the garden. He is a rosy chap with green fingers who takes every opportunity to discuss his rhododendrons and other garden flora. He affectionately calls Lord Daventry ‘Lord Lavatory’. He was made redundant recently as a result of Lord Daventry’s financial problems. Roger the Butler has, much to his annoyance, taken his place, and indeed the place of the whole household staff. He knows Roger is incompetent and that his references for the job are probably fake. He dresses as he did when working at the Manor as he has no other clothes and no money to buy any.

MR NORMAN NEADS-HOLMES

Well known in the community for his begging. Norman currently live in a derelict shack without running water and, as a result, can be a purveyor of strong odours. Of course polite society would never mention this. Miss Fanny felt sorry for him in the street and has invited him in for the night.  He is amazed by the rich food and high living and is constantly found trying to steal the cutlery, glasses, table cloths- indeed anything he feels might be either useful or saleable. Indeed, the clothes he is wearing have been stolen from the clotheslines of a number of local wealthy families, and are rather mismatched to say the least.

MR PERCIVAL PEMBERTON

Percival is the patron of St Saviour’s Mental Asylum, situated close to the Manor. Known locally to be very odd, spending too much of his time with the patients in his care. This has resulted in him having acquired a number of nervous twitches. He is a friend of Fanny’s parents who insisted that he represented them at the traditional birthday gathering. He knows of the Farquar family scandal but cannot say what it is.

COLONEL ALISTAIR PLATTINGTON-SMYTHE

An acquaintance of Monty and a friend of his father from the British Army. Alistair has a low opinion of Monty and his ability as a soldier and salutes everyone except for Monty.  Monty’s father, General Marmaduke Smedley-Downes is said to have been responsible for the most humiliating defeat the British Army ever encountered in 1915-16, forcing passage through the Dardanelles during the Great War.  Alistair never lets the family forget it and is convinced death follows Monty around. They must make mention of this fact if ever the occasion arises.

REVEREND EDGAR PRIESTLEY

A well respected local clergyman. He was a lifelong friend of Lord Quinten’s parents until their tragic death. Reverend Priestley presided over their joint funeral. He is greatly disturbed by rumours of Lord Quinten’s decadent and irresponsible life style. Reverend Priestley is renowned in the local community for his bawdy humour and raucous laughter.

MR DERMONT TWIGGLE

Dermont is a well-known author writing books which are sexually explicit and which many in society find shocking and vulgar. They are however, always-best sellers, yet no one will admit to reading them. He insists on his surname being pronounced “Twigglay” and gets very offended if it is pronounced any other way. He is a colourful party guest, some may say even a little camp, with a taste for soft furnishings and wearing velvet.

HIS EXCELLENCY YURI WATKAVLOVA

Recently appointed Ambassador to His Majesty’s Government.  He is devilishly handsome and rumoured to be having an affair with Miss Daphne Nouveau. He is also very inquisitive about English habits and is constantly questioning people about why they do things they way they do. He has a slight lisp, which unfortunately makes it hard for him to pronounce his own name. He is particularly looking forward to asking Dr Holst about English toilet habits.

MR MARVYN WELLINGTON

Is the leading light of the British surrealist Dada movement primarily involved visual arts, and theatre, his focus is to ridicule what he considers to be the meaninglessness of the modern world. In addition to being anti-war, dada is also anti-bourgeois and anarchist in nature. Lord Quinten thought he’d be ‘fun’ to invite to this evening’s event as Marvyn never disappoints in his surrealist apparel and interpretative dance movements.

FOR SOLO LADIES

MISS RUBY HUBBLE

Formally a scullery maid until she fell in love whilst she was polishing a Viscount’s valuables. She can be known to embarrass the gentry, as she tends to fall back into her maid’s role and always wants to help the servants, despite his express instructions for her to desist. Dusting is her favourite pastime.

MRS PRU CROWMARSH

Pru is the founding (and only) member of the local Rabbit Breeding Association (R.B.A). She is particularly proud of his prize rabbit, an American Fuzzy Lop. She also runs a florist in the local town and has been approaching Lord Quinten in the hope that he will, next year, fund the rabbit breeder’s equivalent of the Melbourne Cup, Best Bunny 1929. Lord Quinten has invited her in the hope that he can persuade her to involve someone else. Mrs Crowmarsh should take every opportunity to ask Lord Quinten and his other guests for funding for what she considers to be a very worthy cause.

MS DIVINIA DICLOMENTY

Divinia is the editor of the local newspaper and has a reputation for scandalous reporting. She has no scruples where a story is to be had. She has not exactly been invited to the party but has come as she has heard matrimony is in the air-but all may not be as it seems – she sniffs a story! She is very inquisitive and pokes her nose into everyone’s business, especially that of the upper classes. She should question Miss Fanny about her relationships.

MISS DORA DODSWORTH

She is a famous newspaper columnist writing the fashion column of “Homes Today”. She is to write a piece on the Manor as she has heard it may soon be sold off  and turned into a hotel. Aspiring to become one of the new ‘tabloid’ journalists, she is constantly looking to sensationalise the dullest story. She has heard Gwendella Garavinah is a fraud and is intent on getting to the truth. She must hound Miss Garavinah for an interview.

MISS URSULA EADES-JONES

She is a powerful woman and active member of the suffragette movement. She is a poet and dancer with a reputation for dancing “au naturelle” whenever possible. She sees Gwendella Garavinah as a kindred spirit and seeks her counsel obsessively about everything.

MS BERNICE FAFFLEMOUNT-FORBES

Bernice is an emancipated woman who has an eye for the gentlemen and is a part owner of the St Saviours’ Mental Asylum. She has radical views for a woman and  is a leading member of the Republican Movement and takes every opportunity to push her anti-monarchist views.

MRS ALICE FARNSNIP

Alice is a friend of Lord Quinten’s Nanny Maude. She attends the party every year, usually travelling from Scotland with Nanny Maude. She earns her living from making tartan and is a fanatical member of the Scottish Folk Dancing Society, taking any opportunity to do a highland fling or similar folk dance.

BARONESS AGNETHA HAASE

She is a Swedish property tycoon, interested in purchasing the Manor, with plans to turn it into a hotel. She should seek out columnist from ‘Homes Today’ Miss Dora Dodsworth as she could help with publicity around this new business venture. She speaks English in her own strange way and as a romantic she loves to burst into song at any mention of love or lovers.

LADY PRUNELLA HARGREAVES

Lady Prunella is a wealthy film director and is currently casting for her next film, “The Beast Within”. She is scouting for talent to play various roles.  It is said to be one of world’s first ‘talking’ movies. Lady Hargreaves should take every opportunity to ‘screen test’ guests for parts in his new film, inviting them to act out scenarios and dialogue of her choosing- Roger, the butler, in particular.

DR. ARMANIA HOLST

World renowned as a psychologist, Dr Holst follows the new wave ideas of Sigmund Freud. Dr Holst is therefore obsessed with people’s toilet training history. Dr Holst is German and currently working at St Saviour’s Mental Asylum on a particularly difficult case. Dr Holst recognises Miss Fanny but cannot place from exactly where.

MS INGRAM INGLETON

Ingram is the wealthy owner of the local casino where Lord Daventry is a regular customer. As a consequence, Lord Daventry owes her a great deal of money. Ingram is intent on recovering the gambling debt from Lord Quinten and has employed two ‘heavies’ to intimidate him. She will stop at nothing to recover her money.

MISS JACINTA JAMIESON

Jacinta (and her co star Scarlett Pipps) have left her busy film shoot in London to come to the party. Star of the silent screen and currently filming with Rudolph Valentino. The actors have invited themselves to the party to have the opportunity to display their talents. Terrible “show offs”, constantly breaking into song and dance routines. They should show off her talents whenever possible as the current filming contract will soon end.

MRS ELVIRA MORRIS–MINTER

Elvira Morris-Minter has lived on the Daventry estate all her life and as a result knows the family well.  She worked as a ladies maid and loves to chat endlessly about the ‘gold old days’. She affectionately calls Lord Daventry ‘Lord Lavatory’. She was made redundant recently as a result of Lord Daventry’s financial problems. Roger the Butler has, much to her annoyance, taken her place, and indeed the place of the whole household staff. She knows Roger is incompetent and that his references for the job are probably fake. She dresses as she did when working at the Manor as she has no other clothes and no money to buy any.

MRS VIVIANA NEADS-HOLMES

Well known in the community for her begging. Viviana currently live in a derelict shack without running water and, as a result, can be a purveyor of strong odours. Of course polite society would never mention this. Miss Fanny felt sorry for her in the street and has invited her in for the night.  She is amazed by the rich food and high living and is constantly found trying to steal the cutlery, glasses, table cloths- indeed anything she feels might be either useful or saleable. Indeed, the clothes she is wearing have been stolen from the clotheslines of a number of local wealthy families, and are rather mismatched to say the least.

MISS DAPHNE NOUVEAU

Miss Nouveau is an art collector and is waiting, with enthusiasm, for the unveiling of the Constable painting Fanny has bought for Lord Quinten’s birthday. She is very loud and outrageous, referring to everyone as “darling”.  She does not get along with Fanny’s friend and artistic mentor, Gwendella Garavinah. When the painting is unveiled she is shocked and horrified and very vocal about her disgust at the painting’s quality. She is rumoured to be having an affair with virtually everyone at the party.

MISS POPPY PEMBERTON

Poppy is the patron of St Saviour’s Mental Asylum, situated close to the Manor. Known locally to be very odd, spending too much of her time with the patients in her care. This has resulted in him having acquired a number of nervous twitches. She is a friend of Fanny’s parents who insisted that she represented them at the traditional birthday gathering. She knows of the Farquar family scandal but cannot say what it is.

MISS SCARLET PIPPS

Scarlett (and her co star Jacinta Jamieson) have left her busy film shoot in London to come to the party. Star of the silent screen and currently filming with Rudolph Valentino. The actors have invited themselves to the party to have the opportunity to display their talents. Terrible “show offs”, constantly breaking into song and dance routines. They should show off her talents whenever possible as the current filming contract will soon end.

MRS ROSE PRIESTLEY

The wife of the well respected local clergyman who is at home with measles. Both were lifelong friends of Lord Quinten’s parents until their tragic death. Reverend Priestley presided over their joint funeral. She is greatly disturbed by rumours of Lord Quinten’s decadent and irresponsible life style. Mrs Priestley is known for her organisational abilities at the village’s summer fete, wide brimmed hats and her gooseberry jam. She is often seen jotting down ingredients for recipes that she seeks from others, particularly the upper class.

SISTER DAISY SPARROW

She is a veteran from the Great War where she served as a nursing sister, tending to the sick and wounded from the fateful attack to force passage through the Dardanelles in 1915-16. Thousands were killed and injured on that day. She has always had a soft spot for Captain Montague Smedley Downes who served in supplies during that ill-fated campaign. She has pursued him to become Mrs Smedley Downes since the moment they met as she bandaged his finger after his accident with a potato peeler. She likes nothing better than demonstrating her bandaging techniques on others and in particular Monty’s ring finger.

MISS TILLY TRANTER

She is an upper class, some might say ‘toffee nosed’ socialite. She is terribly fashion conscious and openly critical of others’ poor dress sense. She is a superficial friend of Quinten’s and spends much of her time enjoying a continuous round of parties, drinking pink champagne and cocktails. She has a weakness for large varieties of European sausage, for which she is famed. She delights in haughtily recounting her past conquests of male royalty.

THE COUNTESS CRESSIDA VON TOTT

The Countess is Hungarian and is said to be of Royal descent. She speaks with a thick accent and presents a dark and intriguing figure.  She often gets her English idioms completely mixed up, commenting that women look as ‘pretty as a preacher’, or that men must be ‘randy to have around the house’.

MISS WINIFRED WALLIS

A spinster of the parish, neighbour to the Daventry estate and upstanding members of the local community. Winifred claims to have psychic powers and is thrilled at the opportunity to meet mystic mentor to the rich and famous, Gwendella Garavinah. She must insist Gwendella conducts a séance this evening.

MAROON STARSHINER

Is the leading light of the British surrealist Dada movement primarily involved visual arts, and theatre, her focus is to ridicule what she considers to be the meaninglessness of the modern world. In addition to being anti-war, dada is also anti-bourgeois and anarchist in nature. Lord Quinten thought she’d be ‘fun’ to invite to this evening’s event as Maroon never disappoints in her surrealist apparel and interpretative dance movements.

MISS ROUNGE McTHANIEL

She is the dazzlingly wealthy daughter of an American plantation owner, Red McThaniel. A staunch republican supporter, she is at the party to raise funds for Herbert Hoover’s forthcoming bid to become President of the USA. She is besotted with British aristocracy and keen to obtain a title for herself. Lord Daventry is seen as a perfect husband. She’ll often be heard rehearsing her hoped for new name Lady Rouge Roberta McThaniel – Daventry.

The Hon. Mrs CECILIA WESTON

Mrs. Weston is the daughter of Alfie and Ivy Bass who own and run a very successful brewery. Ivy, who is something of a snob, is very proud of her daughter as she married the youngest son of a Baron and is therefore entitled to be addressed as ‘The Honourable.’

Miss LILIANA LARSEN

Miss Larsen is American and a retired silent screen actress who is currently staying with Lord and Lady Hargreaves, the wealthy film director and his wife. She has starred in a number of Lord Hargreaves’ movies but doesn’t think much of the current stars of the silver screen and believes that the ‘talkies’ will never take off.

Miss MAISIE WATSON

Miss Watson is the friend and faithful companion of Miss Astor, the daughter of John Jacob Astor, who died on the Titanic, and niece of Lady Nancy Astor, the first lady member of parliament.   Both are staying in the area with Lord Dalrymple who is a friend and colleague of Lady Nancy Astor.

Mrs FRANCIS LENNOX

Mrs Lennox is a wealthy socialite and a friend of Fanny’s mother. Knowing of Lord Quinten’s financial difficulties, she is concerned that he wants to marry Fanny purely for her money.

Mrs AVA ALICE ASTOR

Alice is the daughter of John Jacob Astor, the extremely wealthy American who died on the Titanic in 1912. She relies greatly on her friend, Miss Maisie Watson, who has accompanied her to the party. She is also the niece of Lady Nancy Astor a colleague of Lord Dalrymple.   Both she and Miss Watson are staying with Lord Dalrymple.

The Hon. Lady CLAUDIA BARRINGTON

The widow of The Hon. Viscount Barrington, Claudia is very conscious of her rank and place in society. She is very kind-hearted and involved with a great many charitable works but tells everyone that she considers it her duty to assist those less fortunate.

Miss HEATHER CRAWFORD

Heather is a local artisan who makes beautifully decorated eggs in the style of Faberge. Miss Fanny has asked her to make a special egg to commemorate her forthcoming wedding to Lord Quinten.

Mrs DIANNA ASHBRIDGE

Dianna has recently moved into the village near the Daventry Estate and being keen to meet new friends she is very pleased to be invited to the party. She is particularly looking forward to meeting Mr. and Mrs. Worthingate who, she has heard, are keen bridge players.

Mrs JOY FARNSWORTH

Joy is the niece of Winifred and Willena Wallis and is currently staying with them whilst her husband is away on business. The sisters love having their niece to stay with them and introducing her to their many friends.

Mrs ELEANOR TILNEY

Eleanor was a theatre actress (now retired) who played all the leading roles in some of the finest plays (Lady Macbeth, Ophelia, Lady Bracknell etc.) in London and on Broadway. She has no time for the so-called stars of the ‘Silver Screen’ as she doesn’t believe they have any real talent.

Miss ELAINE ASHTON

Elaine is the cousin and personal secretary of Lady Claudia Barrington, a wealthy socialite and a former suffrage campaigner.   She accompanies her Ladyship to all social functions which she enjoys although she is generally quiet and retiring until she has a glass of champagne! Both she and Lady Barrington are staying with Miss Ursula Eades-Jones.

Mrs LILY RUTHERFORD

Lily is the widow of a local banker who spends all her spare time tending her lovely garden. She wins all the prizes at the local flower show for her beautiful roses and home-grown vegetables. She has accepted the invitation to the party because she wants to get a glimpse of the famous Daventry Estate Rose Garden, although it was her husband who had an acquaintanceship with Lord Daventry

Miss EVIE HILLINGHAM

Evie is the sister of Lady Ravenswood and she often accompanies her to functions and stays with her when Lord Ravenswood is overseas. She is jealous of her sister’s title and is on the lookout for a wealthy and (preferably) titled husband.

Miss FLORENCE SLATER

Florence is Miss Dora Dodsworth’s private secretary and is very excited to have been included in tonight’s festivities. However, she is not just there to enjoy herself, Dora will expect her to assist in ensuring she obtains an interview with Gwendella Garavinha and to pick up any gossip about the possible sale of Daventry Manor.

Dame FREYA STARK

Dame Freya is an intrepid explorer, she has travelled extensively in the middle-east and Turkey and writes books when not travelling. Lord Quinten has invited her because he thinks she will be interesting. She is staying in the area with Ms Divinia Diclomenty, the editor of the local newspaper

The Hon. Lady GENEVIEVE RAVENSWOOD

Viscountess Ravenswood is representing her husband at the party tonight as he is abroad working for the foreign office. Lord Ravenswood is a great friend of Lord Daventry and insisted that she attend in his place even though she is a retiring lady and does not particularly like Lord Daventry. She is attended tonight by her sister Miss Evie Hillingham.