Got a few spare hours, comfortable shoes and budding detective skills? You could find few more enjoyable ways of using them than to join A Door In A Wall's latest murder mystery treasure hunt. Londonist decided to form our very own crime-solving force and get stuck in.
A Door In A Wall design and run treasure hunts and large scale murder mystery events taking in whole areas of London, some with hundreds of people participating. The sheer amount of planning which must go into each event is mind-boggling. The latest, Apocalypse How? involves a secretive religious sect and a mysterious murder. As with all good detective tales there's a backstory:
20 years ago, Arthur Geddon crawled half-dead from the jungle; a miraculous survivor of a lost expedition. He clutched in his hands a series of stone tablets that he claimed described the end of the world. Now, with the day of reckoning fast approaching, Arthur is found dead. You, his faithful disciples in the Church of the Golden Pyramid, must discover who among your brothers and sisters has killed the beloved leader! Choose your path to victory and leave no stone unturned as you spend a day searching London for clues and characters that will allow you to avenge this sacrifice and, maybe, avert doomsday.
The teams gathered at Shoreditch's Blueberry to receive a briefing while fortifying ourselves with refreshing breakfast drink (gin and orange) thoughtfully supplied by one of our team. Then, armed only with our wits, our smartphones and our list of suspects, we ventured forth to discover the identity of Arthur Geddon's killer.
We can't give too much away as we don't want to spoil the experience for future adventurers, but suffice to say that we spent the next few hours combing east London for a series of fiendish clues which required every drop of ingenuity and observation we possessed. Apocalypse How? is so immersive that we even found ourselves being fleeced of £4 by a beggar because he happened to approach us in a manner which made us think he was one of A Door In A Wall's fine actors who pop up along the way to ask for favours in return for clues. Having learned our lesson, the next beggar to approach us went away empty-handed but his parting accusation of 'anarchists!' stayed with us.
Despite being hardened Londoners, we still found ourselves in alleys and nooks of the east end which we've never visited which made the experience all the more fun. One particularly tricky clue led to us stumbling across an in-garage barbeque held by a group of cabbies and an impromptu invite to join them for dinner. It's clear that Londoners retain a healthy sense of curiosity — on numerous occasions we were approached by strangers to ask what we were up to (three adults peering into a pavement grating is bound to attract comment) and without exception people were fascinated and interested.
As you may have picked up already, no pun is left unpunned at Apocalypse How? and prizes are awarded for the best team name — our chosen pun 'Gin it to win it' paled into insignificance next to the winning 'New Kids on the Blockalypse'.
It's one of the best days out you could ever have by miles and the A Door In A Wall team are entertaining, fun and have the most diabolical minds for plotting. By contrast, Blueberry as a venue seemed ill-prepared — after six hours of walking, all you want is a chair and a pint but several of us ended up spending the evening sitting on the floor or waiting an age to get served at the bar. A couple of teams even took their beer money to another pub to write up their crime report. However, this was the first day with a new venue and we're assured that our brothers and sisters will be better accommodated on forthcoming dates.
Sadly, Apocalypse How? is sold out for November but follow A Door In A Wall on Facebook for precious returns and spare tickets (£25). Follow them on Twitter and keep an eye on their website for future events.
Our team played the game courtesy of A Door In A Wall.