MEMBERS of Dorchester Drama are leaving their comfort zone for their latest production, Dying for a Drink.

Instead of a ‘straight play’ the team is staging a murder-mystery evening.

The evening will begin with the cast performing act one and then, at the interval, dinner is served.

After act two, the audience will have a chance to hone their Poirot/Marple skills before dessert when the solution will be revealed.

Emma Royde is a wealthy widow whose late husband, Andy, was the victim of a hit-and-run driver.

She has a drink problem, and to make matters worse, she’s had an anonymous letter telling her that one of the beneficiaries in her will is going to kill her.

So is it wise of her to invite them all to her home?

The play is being staged by Vince Jones, who is making his directorial debut with Dorchester Drama.

Vince said: “I have done these murder-mystery plays before at Dorset County Museum and it’s a great way to spend an evening and this promises to be a really good one.

“As the evening goes on pieces of evidence are shown to the audience to help them make their minds up about the murder and they have to guess who did the deed.

“Before the second course they have to accuse the person they think is the murderer, write it down with the reason for their accusation.

“Later, prizes will be given for the best and most outrageous accusations.”

He added: “It is quite a young cast and this is a great opportunity for them to show what they can do.

“We need to encourage more young people to join because that will give the society the chance to evolve.”

Joining the younger players on stage during Dying for a Drink are Dorchester Drama stalwarts Peter Wheeler, who will be MC for the evening and Ann Ottoway, who will play the role of the investigating police constable.

“It is good to have people with a thorough knowledge of stagecraft up there with the newer members,” said Vince.

Vince has been a member of Dorchester Drama for five years and says it’s a ‘lovely little group’ although they are always on the look-out for new members.

“We are always hoping for new people, whether they are friends of current members or their families,” he said.

“And if we get more younger people coming along, maybe they will encourage a new generation to start coming along.”

Dying for a Drink is going to be held at The Place with the Stage – Sunninghill Community hall, previously known as the Holy Trinity Parish Centre in Culliford Road, Dorchester.

Performances are at 7.30pm on March 23 and 24 and tickets cost £15 for adults, £12 for under-18s.

They go on sale at the end of this month and will only be available until the day before the first show, from Trinity’s Treat in Trinity Street, The United Church Bookshop, (mornings only) or via 01305 257694.