Your stories and pictures from Under the Big Top

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"We ran Under the Big Top as an end-of-year party for our staff. Only one of the group had every done a murder mystery party before, but everyone came in costume and really committed to their characters. A few were surprised by the amount of information in the character packets at first, but once they had 15 minutes to digest it all and figured out how to follow the 'suggested first steps' prompts, everyone absolutely dove in to their characters and goals. There were marriages, divorces, re-marriages, secret plots to frame other characters, items being stolen left right and centre, you name it. We couldn't get people to quiet down at the end to actually hear the final solution because they were having too much fun sharing all their own secrets and plot points.
As the host I was kept pretty busy answering questions and letting characters bounce their theories and ideas off of me. For the missing characters not in the game I let players send 'telegrams' through me and I would write a little message on paper and give them a 'response' 5–10 minutes later. I even had one player asking me to send a telegram to a CSI lab to run fingerprint and blood samples, so I had fun creating some extra ad-libbed messages about their strange requests. All that to say, thankfully I had a 2nd helper to hand out snacks, make popcorn, and refill drinks as the game progressed.
We had some kids' gym parachutes we used as colourful wall hangings, put on a Spotify circus playlist and used a lot of fairy lights and balloons to set the circus vibe.
Love how intricate and free-form these murder mysteries are and how they create a lot of room for drama that players can dive in to- yet it's incredibly easy to set up and run as the host by following all the steps and check-lists in the info packet. Thank you!"
Jared Bredeson, United Kingdom


"I hosted Under the Big Top with a full cast of characters at a campout full of acrobats. I've hosted other murder mysteries before, but never a freeform game. I like freeform better – it has more room for participants to improvise and get creative. We had many murder mystery first timers and all had a blast. As a first time freeform host, I reviewed the materials twice and felt prepared. We played over 4 hours and that was a perfect amount of time to play. Some felt rushed and others were able to finish their goals. I loved how all the storylines intersected and goals were at odds with one another. Even though the host doesn't get to play, I had a blast listening in on everything that was happening and giving bits of advice to push players onto more interactivity. I'm already planning my next freeform party!"
Alaina Robertson, USA

Under the Big Top - Alaina Robertson


"Another great evening thanks to Under the Big Top, everyone got very into character and there were some great costumes. Can't wait for our next murder mystery."
Jessica Murray and the York St John drama society, United Kingdom

Under the Big Top – for one night only! - Jessica Murray


"I started hosting murder mystery games a few years ago, and most recently I've done Death on the Gambia and Under the Big Top. My friends and I agree, your games have been the most intriguing, most delightful, and most successful of all our murder mystery parties. Now we budget in an extra two or three hours to thoroughly enjoy all of our gossiping, plotting, two-timing, and back-stabbing! It's the side plots that truly make your games. Everyone isn't just staring at the ground, magnifying glass in hand, searching for murderous footprints. They're maneuvering a complex web of secrets and connections, buried pasts and devious ambitions, free to approach any issue in the manner they feel most beneficial for their character's particular gain. In fact, you could take out the murder and still have a great time! Freeform Games is my go-to for the highest quality murder mysteries."
Tatyana Rasmussen, United States

Under the Big Top – the whole group - Tatyana Rasmussen


"We had a wonderfully funny time last night at Under the Big Top. I have to say that some of the costumes we saw were not only imaginative, but wildly funny. I am so proud of all of my friends who went out of their way to make the evening a success.
Many of them expressed concern that they would never be able to learn all the information they were given ahead of time, but the party ran quite smoothly. The laughs never stopped and continued well into the wee hours of the morning. We just couldn't stop.
We used a white plastic tablecloth roll alternating with rolls of red wrapping paper on the walls to make it look like the inside of a tent. Rolls of red and white crepe paper went from the corners of the room into the center of the ceiling for the roof. We had a balloon arch, curtains hung in doorways, and balloons everywhere. It looked super and the decorations certainly added to the fun."
Debi, United States

Under the Big Top - Debi Gilroy

Under the Big Top 
											– Alaina Robertson
Under the Big Top – Alaina Robertson

Under the Big Top – gathering 
											– Jill Davis
Under the Big Top – gathering – Jill Davis

Under the Big Top – group shot 
											– Jill Davis
Under the Big Top – group shot – Jill Davis

Under the Big Top – lion tamer 
											– Jill Davis
Under the Big Top – lion tamer – Jill Davis

Under the Big Top – Stella Sue 
											– Jill Davis
Under the Big Top – Stella Sue – Jill Davis

Under the Big Top – ticket booth 
											– Jill Davis
Under the Big Top – ticket booth – Jill Davis

Under the Big Top – total group picture 
											– Jill Davis
Under the Big Top – total group picture – Jill Davis

Under the Big Top 
											– Jessica Murray
Under the Big Top – Jessica Murray

Under the Big Top – for one night only! 
											– Jessica Murray
Under the Big Top – for one night only! – Jessica Murray

Under the Big Top – the boys 
											– Tatyana Rasmussen
Under the Big Top – the boys – Tatyana Rasmussen

Under the Big Top – the girls 
											– Tatyana Rasmussen
Under the Big Top – the girls – Tatyana Rasmussen

Under the Big Top – the whole group 
											– Tatyana Rasmussen
Under the Big Top – the whole group – Tatyana Rasmussen

Under the Big Top – Alex discussing with Frieda while Quinn secretly watches on! 
											– Terence Smith
Under the Big Top – Alex discussing with Frieda while Quinn secretly watches on! – Terence Smith

Under the Big Top – Alex Marbles and Bo 
											– Terence Smith
Under the Big Top – Alex Marbles and Bo – Terence Smith

Under the Big Top – Bo and Stella Sue 
											– Terence Smith
Under the Big Top – Bo and Stella Sue – Terence Smith

Under the Big Top – Bo and the clown, Dana West 
											– Terence Smith
Under the Big Top – Bo and the clown, Dana West – Terence Smith

Under the Big Top – Denny McFly and Quinn Bones 
											– Terence Smith
Under the Big Top – Denny McFly and Quinn Bones – Terence Smith

Under the Big Top – Frieda Laing 
											– Terence Smith
Under the Big Top – Frieda Laing – Terence Smith

Under the Big Top – Lt. Morgan Caine, P.T. Connelly and Quinn Bones 
											– Terence Smith
Under the Big Top – Lt. Morgan Caine, P.T. Connelly and Quinn Bones – Terence Smith

Under the Big Top – Marvin Mancuso and Bo Bennett 
											– Terence Smith
Under the Big Top – Marvin Mancuso and Bo Bennett – Terence Smith

Under the Big Top – Mischa Korchencko 
											– Terence Smith
Under the Big Top – Mischa Korchencko – Terence Smith

Under the Big Top – Quinn Bones 
											– Terence Smith
Under the Big Top – Quinn Bones – Terence Smith

Under the Big Top – Quinn, Frieda and Burt Butler 
											– Terence Smith
Under the Big Top – Quinn, Frieda and Burt Butler – Terence Smith

Under the Big Top – Roxanne Bones 
											– Terence Smith
Under the Big Top – Roxanne Bones – Terence Smith

Under the Big Top – Roxanne, Bo, Mischa, Frieda and P.T. 
											– Terence Smith
Under the Big Top – Roxanne, Bo, Mischa, Frieda and P.T. – Terence Smith

Under the Big Top – Svetlana Yuri, the human pretzel! 
											– Terence Smith
Under the Big Top – Svetlana Yuri, the human pretzel! – Terence Smith

Under the Big Top – The two Korchencko Brothers 
											– Terence Smith
Under the Big Top – The two Korchencko Brothers – Terence Smith

Under the Big Top – Vladimir, Svetlana and Dimitri Korchencko 
											– Terence Smith
Under the Big Top – Vladimir, Svetlana and Dimitri Korchencko – Terence Smith

Under the Big Top – Whole Group 
											– Terence Smith
Under the Big Top – Whole Group – Terence Smith

Under the Big Top – Whole Group 
											– Terence Smith
Under the Big Top – Whole Group – Terence Smith

Under the Big Top 
											– Debi Gilroy
Under the Big Top – Debi Gilroy

Under the Big Top 
											– Debi Gilroy
Under the Big Top – Debi Gilroy

Under the Big Top 
											– Debi Gilroy
Under the Big Top – Debi Gilroy

Under the Big Top 
											– Debi Gilroy
Under the Big Top – Debi Gilroy

Under the Big Top 
											– Debi Gilroy
Under the Big Top – Debi Gilroy

Under the Big Top 
											– Debi Gilroy
Under the Big Top – Debi Gilroy

Under the Big Top 
											– Debi Gilroy
Under the Big Top – Debi Gilroy

Under the Big Top 
											– Debi Gilroy
Under the Big Top – Debi Gilroy

Under the Big Top 
											– Debi Gilroy
Under the Big Top – Debi Gilroy

Under the Big Top 
											– Debi Gilroy
Under the Big Top – Debi Gilroy

Under the Big Top 
											– Debi Gilroy
Under the Big Top – Debi Gilroy

Under the Big Top 
											– Debi Gilroy
Under the Big Top – Debi Gilroy

Under the Big Top 
											– Debi Gilroy
Under the Big Top – Debi Gilroy

Under the Big Top 
											– Debi Gilroy
Under the Big Top – Debi Gilroy

Under the Big Top 
											– Debi Gilroy
Under the Big Top – Debi Gilroy

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If you would like to tell us how your party went, please click here to send us your story. We'll then give you an email address to send pictures to, if you'd like yours to appear here.