The Butler Did It Players to serve up ‘Father Brown Murder Mystery’ at picnic

HAMMOND — Fans of “Father Brown” will converge here on Sept. 20 to help solve a mystery to support WPBS-DT.

The Watertown-based public television station and The Butler Did It Players will present the dinner-theater production: “Father Brown Murder Mystery” at the Iva Smith Gallery, 627 state Route 37.

The Butler Did It Players is an interactive, largely improvisational theater troupe that specializes in mystery dinner-theater shows in which audience members are part of the plot. Last year, it presented a Sherlock Holmes mystery for WPBS-DT on Dark Island.

The Sept. 20 event is “The Mystery of the Church Mouse” and the theme is “1950 church picnic.”

Guests will be treated to wine and cheese at 6 p.m. The picnic buffet begins at 7 and will include barbecued ribs, chicken, brisket, sides and dessert.

“Father Brown” is a BBC One production that’s loosely based on the short stories of G.K. Chesterton as the character, a Roman Catholic priest, solves crime in his community. The series is set during the early 1950s, in the fictional Cotswold village of Kembleford.

The event’s buffet will be provided in church picnic format, said Tanya M. Roy, cofounder of Butler Did It Players.

“We’re also inviting the attendees to dress up in 1950s’ fashion and enjoy the ambiance that goes along with the music of the ’50s and the show itself,” Ms. Roy said.

Guests can stroll the grounds and the buildings to gather clues about the murder as they interact with characters. The gallery grounds include a restored 19th century barn featuring artwork, handmade quilts and stained glass windows. Participants are advised to take notes as they investigate the case.

People who solve the murder will have their names put in a hat. Prizes will be awarded to the person whose name that is drawn.

Now in its fourth year, The Butler Did It Players has kept up a busy schedule since its formation. Its mystery themes have ranged from disco to Dickens while at times supporting local nonprofits.

“We absolutely found a niche,” Ms. Roy said. “It’s fun for us because it’s not something we intended. But out of the woodwork came all these ideas, which allowed us to bring in new players and different types of costumes, themes and music — all that stuff that makes acting so much fun in the first place.”

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Advanced registration is required. Tickets for the “Father Brown” mystery are $80 and are available through WPBS-DT at wdt.me/BrownButler. WPBS-DT members can use the code “WPBSMember5” at checkout to receive a $5 discount. All proceeds benefit WPBS-DT programming, production and educational media engagement events.

Reservations also can be made online at wpbstv.org or by contacting Peggy Brouty-Benton, WPBS special events manager, at 315-782-3142, Ext. 301.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

Features writer

Multiple award-winning writer of life in the north country

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