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Dinner at 8, followed by a murder

A Shanghai restaurant will become a crime scene and the diners will turn into detectives when local experimental theater group Zuloo Productions holds its first murder mystery night tomorrow.

Diners will have to guess who the culprit is from a cast of nine who use the restaurant as the setting for a murder that occurs at a glamorous Hollywood party.

"It's a very light-hearted atmosphere that we want to create. People can have a laugh, interact with the actors in a different way and feel like they have done something a little different in Shanghai," Zuloo founder Zsuzsi Lindsay says.

The murder mystery dinner party will be held at Purple Restaurant and Wine Bar, and the actors have been rehearsing the three-act play that was specifically written for a murder mystery genre party.

Between acts, the players will answer questions from the audience. There is no stage and all the action taking place within the restaurant.

"You need the right venue so people can see what is going on, and Purple is a great place to stage this," says one of the event organizers Jos Biber.

The "murder" occurs at a glitzy pre-Oscars party for the fictional film "That's When I Love You."

The players in the drama include typical Hollywood types with directors, costume designers, actors, producers and screen writers all having a motive to commit the murder.

Diners are encouraged to get into the theme and dress like they were at a glamorous Hollywood party.

Zuloo Productions holds regular performances and acting workshops and many of the actors performing in the murder mystery-themed night are from its impromptu theater group.

One of the actors, Jubal Jallaga, who plays a costume designer, says staying in character while interacting with the audience will add to the fun of the event.

"I am playing a costume designer who is also one of the suspects and he is a very flamboyant and outrageous type of character," he says.

It is the first time that Zuloo has staged a murder mystery night and Lindsay says it is a good way of actors testing their skills as well as having a fun night.

"I have done some small murder mystery evenings but nothing on this scale, with nine characters," Lindsay says.

"From our point of view it is a great way of combining good food, a drink and some good entertainment.

"Usually in Shanghai you usually combine the drinking and eating but we wanted to provide all three," he says.

The event will cost 150 yuan (US$22) per head and includes main course meal and a drink.

Date: July 17, 8pm

Venue: Purple Restaurant and Wine Bar, 1333 Huaihai Rd M.

Reservations can be made via email to or


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